When Old Mutual Limited (the parent company of Old Mutual Nigeria) sacked Peter Moyo as its CEO in June 2019, many people thought the matter would die down quickly. But it did not, the reason being that the fired CEO chose to drag the South African insurance company to court. Interestingly, Moyo won the case after a judge ordered his reinstatement. However, Old Mutual’s board of directors refused to let him resume his post.
Meanwhile, Peter Moyo wouldn’t give up fighting. Instead, he sued again, this time demanding that the company be held in contempt of court. This afternoon, news broke that a judge in Johannesburg had outlined a number of procedures that must be followed before a final ruling will be made soon. Legal analysts are of the belief that this second suit will equally turn out in Moyo’s favour.
A quick backstory: Old Mutual Limited fired Peter Moyo after citing “material breakdown of trust”. He was reportedly accused of pocketing R30 million worth of dividends linked to NMT Capital. Note that Old Mutual owns 20% stake in NMT Capital which was co-founded by Moyo.
After Moyo sued the company for wrongful termination and won, Old Mutual issued him another letter further terminating his contract for the second time. But this constituted a contempt of court on the part of Old Mutual, a disrespectful offense that could lead to those involved landing jail terms and paying heavy fines.
Earlier today in Johannesburg, a high court ordered that the second letter terminating Moyo’s contract should be admitted into evidence. This will eventually play a vital role in a ruling that will decide the fate of the company’s board members, as well as the fate of Moyo [himself] as the company’s CEO.
Why Moyo is fighting: At the moment, the position for Old Mutual’s Chief Executive Officer remains vacant. Now, looking at everything that has happened and is still happening, it becomes puzzling as to why Peter Moyo is hell-bent on taking back the position. How could he possibly function in the midst of all the bad blood and distrust? Obviously, he has a lot at stake and must do everything possible to protect his interest.
In the meantime, Old Mutual’s share price has continued to be affected by the scandal. Today alone, the stock declined by 2.69% on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; obviously reacting to the court’s decision.
The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchanges and has operations in more than six African countries, including Nigeria.