On Monday, the High Court’s Gauteng Local Division, including costs, rejected the application of former Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo for Old Mutual non-executive directors as criminal and contempt of court.
The decision by Honorable Justices Rowlinga, Tola and Operman is based on the November 2021 hearing.
According to a statement issued by the insurer, the court concluded that the directors had not violated their obligations to the company.
“Conversely, once the relationship between the board and Mr. Moyo broke down, the board was not only entitled to his appointment but was obliged to cancel his appointment,” it says.
Meanwhile, the court found Moyo guilty of violating his fiduciary duty towards the insurance company.
Moyo was immediately suspended in May 2019.
According to the insurance company, Moyo was given a termination notice on June 17, 2019, following a report on Moyo’s related-party transactions, following various concerns about its conduct regarding conflicting interests.
This includes two declarations of total dividend of R115 million R115 million of investment company NMT Capital in 2018. Moyo, the founder and former CEO of NMT, is said to have benefited from R30.6 million.
According to Old Mutual, Moyo and its partners have paid R84 million in shares, while the preference shares were excluded from paying dividends – which were then valued at R65.4 million – due to the insurance company.
“Shortly after the board terminated Mr. Moore’s contract, in good faith and on reasonable grounds, that he was guilty of serious misconduct and could no longer be trusted for the best interests of the old mutual,” the insurer said.
The verdict follows a January 31 decision by Mayor to dismiss the damages lawsuit filed against Old Mutual.
The company said Moyo filed the application after Old Mutual refused his services after a preliminary court order on July 30, 2019 to end its legal proceedings against the company reinstated him on an interim basis.
The court found that Old Mutual did not comply with a preliminary court order barring Moyo from resuming his position as CEO. The court also found that Moyo’s job was legally revoked for the second time.
According to the company, the court found that Moyo had failed to present evidence of wrong connection between Old Mutual and the termination of his employment.
Timeline of old Mutual and Moyo cases
|May 24, 2019||The old board immediately fired Moyo as CEO.|
|June 17, 2019||Moyo has given notice of termination of employment.|
|July 30, 2019||After his dismissal in June, the High Court allowed Moyo to be reinstated temporarily. The old man appeals for leave for mutual appeal.|
|August 2, 2019||The old mutual filed an urgent application in the High Court for a declaratory order to confirm its appeal process, a court order which subsequently reinstated Moyo.|
|August 21, 2019||Old Mutual gives Moyo another notice of termination of employment.|
|September 6, 2019||Old Mutual allowed Mayer to appeal against reinstatement|
|January 14, 2020||The South Gauteng High Court granted Old Mutual’s appeal against the temporary reinstatement order, including costs.|
|March 17, 2020||The Johannesburg High Court has rejected Moyo’s application for a stay on the appointment of a permanent CEO.|
|March 23, 2020||The Supreme Court of Appeals dismissed Moyo’s application for leave to appeal against the January 14 ruling, including costs.|
|January 31, 2022||The Gauteng local division of the High Court has dismissed Moyo’s compensation case.|
|May 18, 2022||The Gauteng Local Division of the High Court, including costs, dismissed Moyo’s joint appeals for criminal and contempt of court against the non-executive directors of Old Mutual.|
Old Mutual said: “I’m glad to be able to put this issue behind me [it] After three years of controversial litigation and will always focus on improving business in the future, including good governance. ”
Listen: High Court Ruling Against Peter Moore, GM for Public Affairs and Sustainability at Old Mutual, by Toby Sengiway (read transcript)
Nandumiso Lehutso is a moneyweb intern.