THE labour row, rocking international financial conglomerate, Old Mutual has taken a sinister twist with a Zimbabwean shareholder now seeking the ouster of former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel as chairman.
Jacob Mutisi a Zimbabwean engineer and shareholder of Old Mutual has wadded into the fight between the financial behemoth and its chief executive officer Peter Moyo that ended in embarrassment for the company three months ago.
In a statement to Old Mutual shareholders, Mutisi wants Manuel and the whole board to quit immediately.
“When a chairman and the board directors behave(s) badly, the consequences for the organisation are swift, severe and long-lasting. In the case of Old Mutual the share price has lost 27% of its value and believe we will lose more (if) the legal battle continues.
“Misconduct by chairman and his board directors, now we don’t know if this was intentional or unintentional but it still points to the facts that they failed to follow the basics Labour Relations Act of South Africa,” said Mutisi adding an extra-ordinary general meeting must be convened to choose a new board.
“Its now three months since Peter Moyo was fired and reinstated. According to Old Mutual, they fired Moyo using the South African clause 24.4.1 of the Labour Relations Act, to immediately fire him without going through the due process of a disciplinary hearing. Old mutual has since lost the case with Judge Brian Mashile saying Old Mutual incorrectly applied clause 24.4.1 of the Labour Relations Act, the law that allowed it to fire Moyo without affording him a disciplinary hearing.”
Mutisi added that Moyo in his fight to retain his job had opened a can of worms including possible corporate incest involving Manuel.
“In his case Peter Moyo claimed that Trevor Manuel the Old mutual chairman did not pay due diligence to corporate governance during the firing process.
“He further exposed that Manuel also chaired Rothschild & Co which oversaw Old Mutual plc delist from the London Stock Exchange and list as Old Mutual Limited on the JSE in June 2018 in a ‘managed separation.”
It has now emerged according to Mutisi that, Moyo may have been the victims of a pushback by Manual after raising red flags on Manuel’s conduct.
“Moyo further elaborated that the Old Mutual chairman suspended him after he raised concern that the insurance company paid for Manuel’s legal fees in his court battle to access information from Gupta owned Sahara Computers,” said the statement.
“These are serious corporate governance violations. What Moyo exposed is that the Old Mutual chair and the board of directors had failed to meet fiduciary duties, this means they failed to meet their duty of care, duty of loyalty and duty of obedience.”