Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
23 Sep 2019
10:29 am

Peter Moyo’s contempt of court application against Old Mutual granted urgency

Citizen Reporter

Another court hearing will be held, with the judge not yet ruling on if the insurance company was in contempt of court.

Peter Moyo has accused former finance minister Trevor Manuel of wanting ‘to get rid of’ him and bullying other directors to support his axing. Image: Moneyweb

Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo’s application to have Old Mutual declared in contempt of court was granted urgency at the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

The judge has not yet ruled on whether the insurance company is indeed in contempt of court.

It was ruled that Moyo can admit his second letter of termination as evidence in the contempt of court application. Old Mutual has now lost their bid to prevent this being admitted.

Old Mutual will now have to file affidavits in the next few days for another court hearing for the contempt of court application, which will take place in the next 30 days.

The contempt of court application relates to Old Mutual’s second axing of Moyo, after their first was declared unlawful.

Old Mutual issued an open letter to shareholders on August 21, saying that it had given Moyo a further notice terminating his employment contract with SA’s second-largest insurer – effectively firing him again.

The hearing of Old Mutual’s application for a declaratory order into whether Moyo could be reinstated as CEO because the insurer is appealing a recent court judgment, which paved the way for him to get his job back, started in August at the High Court in Johannesburg.

Moyo launched a counter-application, asking the High Court for an order to declare the conduct of Old Mutual’s board to be in contempt of court for “failing” to comply with the High Court judgment. Old Mutual’s board comprises 14 individuals and is led by board chair Trevor Manuel.

A contempt of court offence relates to being disobedient or disrespectful towards a court of law regarding its judgments and comes with sanctions including hefty fines or imprisonment. Moyo is pushing for these sanctions, as he wants Old Mutual’s board to explain to the court why it should not be committed to imprisonment for six months or a period determined by the court.

Acting for the Old Mutual board, John Dickerson SC, said the contempt of court application is “fatally flawed and cannot be entertained” because Moyo didn’t follow proper processes in launching the application.

(Edited by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting by Ray Mahlaka, Moneyweb)

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