SA Court dismisses Old Mutual attempt to block CEO’s reinstatement

November 28, 2017.Peter Moyo CEO of Old Mutual Holdings.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Sacked Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo intends to return to his desk next week, his lawyer said on Friday after a South African court dismissed the insurer’s attempt to block his temporary reinstatement.

Moyo was fired in June in relation to a dispute over a conflict of interest, but was temporarily reinstated by the court in July. However, Old Mutual said he could not return to work while it appealed the judgement.

The insurer had asked the court to rule whether it agreed that the appeal suspended the previous judgement, and also on Old Mutual’s view that a temporary reinstatement would in effect be permanent as a court case against his dismissal would be lengthy.

“The respondents have succeeded to persuade this court that the operation and execution of the orders should not be suspended,” Judge Brian Mashile said in a written judgement said seen by Reuters.

Moyo’s lawyer confirmed the ruling, and said he intended to return to work on Monday.

The Old Mutual board has repeatedly said a breakdown in relations and trust with Moyo is such that it is untenable for him to continue as CEO, and fired him for a second time in August. Its shares rose on Friday, and were up 0.88% at 1235 GMT.

An Old Mutual spokeswoman insisted that Moyo’s second sacking in August still prevented him from returning to work, adding that the insurer had also been granted leave to appeal the July court decision.

Moyo had also applied twice to have Old Mutual declared in contempt of court over its refusal to allow him back to work.

The court was still hearing the contempt of court applications.