Fifi Peters: Okay, one story after another of corporate governance, and now we’re talking about Old Mutual. The company issued a statement this afternoon, in which Old Mutual said that a full bench of the Gauteng local division of the High Court, including costs, had rejected former CEO Peter Moyo’s concurrent pleas to disassociate Old Mutual. The executive directors have pleaded guilty and contempt of court.
The statement added that Old Mutual is satisfied with the outcome of the three-year-old controversy and will always focus on future business development with good governance.
We’ve joined Tabby Tsengiwe, General Manager for Old Mutual’s Public Affairs and Sustainability at Market Update. Tabby, thank you so much for your time. How do non-executive directors feel about this court ruling?
Tabby Sengiwe: Good evening, Fifi, and really nice to talk to you again. I think you and I have been talking about this particular case for three years. I mean, it’s been a long time coming, so naturally it’s a case we’ve always said, as Old Mutual, we wanted to avoid. But Mr Mayor had the right to act in his own interests.
I am sure that our boards and managers feel justified by the judgment and feel that it must be a matter of corporate governance and a board holding a CEO to account. We are relieved that after three long years of litigation, the matter is now behind us.
Fifi Peters: Was there a point where a non-executive director or even the company itself thought things wouldn’t go your way?
Tabby Sengiwe: My apologies – what was the point we thought?
Fifi Peters: I was saying that three years have passed, as you said, but was there a point at this point when you thought things would not go your way?
Tabby Sengiwe: We can never determine the outcome of court proceedings. It is in the interest of the board to continue to uphold the truth, and for the board to continue to show it to the court and leave it to the court to decide what corporate governance is. . We were always positive. The board was always positive that we had a strong case, and it was a case based on the facts, supported by the evidence presented before the court. So we feel proven with the results.
Fifi Peters: You think the road ended as related in this case. Is it because Mr. Moyo has no chance to appeal against the latest High Court decision?
Tabby Sengiwe: I want to say that it is our hope that it is over. However, we do not know what Mr. Mayo’s next steps will be. So I don’t want to say that this is the end of the story, but we hope that it marks it, and we look forward to any possible action taken by Mr. Moore in this regard.
Fifi Peters: These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use. So how much do you owe Mr. Moya?
Tabby Sengiwe: We do not know how much that amount will be, because the court has not yet determined the final costs We are aware of that [there are] In fact, six consecutive judgments in favor of Old Mutual. If you look at all the issues brought before the court in a period of three years, this is the sixth judgment in favor of Old Mutual.
Fifi Peters: So how much has Old Mutual spent at this point in all these lawsuits?
Tabby Sengiwe: As I say, those costs still need to be advised and consolidated by the court. So we do not know the amount yet.
Fifi Peters: All right. Tabby, we’ll leave there for now. Many thanks to Tabby Tsengiwe, General Manager of Public Affairs and Sustainability at Old Mutual, for making himself available on such a short notice.
We contacted Peter Moyo to comment on the latest High Court ruling, but he was not available to join us this evening. Maybe another time.