The local department of the Gauteng High Court on Monday rejected with costs the statement of former Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo declaring the non-executive directors of Old Mutual unenforceable and with contempt of court.

The decision, made by Distinguished Judges Rawling, Twala and Opperman, is based on a hearing held in November 2021.

According to the insurer, the court concluded that the directors did not violate their obligations to the company.

“On the contrary, after the relationship between the council and Mr. Moyo broke down, the council was not only entitled but obliged to terminate his appointment,” it said.

Meanwhile, the court found Moyo guilty of violating his trust obligations to the insurance company.

Read:

Why Peter Moyo filed his claim for compensation of 250 million rupees

Moyo was suspended with immediate effect in May 2019.

Conflicting interests

According to the insurance company, on June 17, 2019, Moyo received a notice of termination after notification of operations related to Moyo, after various concerns about his behavior related to conflicting interests.

This includes two declarations of ordinary dividends by investment company NMT Capital totaling Rs 115 crore in 2018. It was found that Moyo, who is the founder and former CEO of NMT, received a benefit of Rs 30.6 million.

According to Old Mutual, Moyo and his partners shared 84 million rupees without paying dividends on preferred shares, which at the time were estimated at 65.4 million rupees owned by the insurance company.

“The council terminated Mr. Moyo’s contract only after it was concluded in good faith and on reasonable grounds that he was guilty of gross misconduct and can no longer be trusted to serve Old Mutual,” the insurer said.

The decision came after a January 31 decision to close the damages case against Old Mutual Moyo.

The company says the bid was made by Moyo after Old Mutual refused its services after an initial court decision reinstated it on an interim basis until the trial against the company ended on July 30, 2019.

The court found that Old Mutual did not violate the original court decision by not allowing Moyo to reinstate his CEO. The court also found that Moyo’s employment was lawfully terminated a second time.

According to the company, the court found that Moyo had not provided evidence showing Old Mutual’s illegal connection to the termination of its operation.

The old term of litigation is Mutual and Moyo

Date Select
May 24, 2019 The old board immediately dismisses Moyo as CEO.
June 17, 2019 Moyo received a notice of termination.
July 30, 2019 The High Court is giving Moyo a temporary reinstatement after his dismissal in June. Old Mutual is applying for permission to appeal.
August 2, 2019 Old Mutual has filed an urgent application with the High Court for a declaratory order confirming the appeal process, with the court decision that reinstated Moyo later suspended.
August 21, 2019 Old Mutual gives Moyo another termination notice.
September 6, 2019 Old Mutual has allowed to appeal Moyo’s recovery
January 14, 2020 The South Gauteng High Court granted Old Mutual’s appeal for an interim reinstatement order along with costs.
March 17, 2020 The Johannesburg High Court rejects Moyo’s statement banning the hiring of a permanent director general.
March 23, 2020 The Supreme Court of Appeals rejects Moyo’s application for permission to appeal the January 14 ruling along with costs.
January 31, 2022 The local department of the Gauteng High Court rejects Moyo’s damages case.
May 16, 2022 The local department of Gauteng High Court rejects along with the costs Moyo’s consolidated applications to declare Old Mutual’s non-executive directors unenforceable and disrespectful to the court.

Old Mutual says it is “happy to leave this case behind [it] after three years of controversial litigation and will focus on business development in the future, with good governance at all times ”.

Listen: Tabby Tsengive, Director General for Public Affairs and Sustainability at Old Mutual, on the High Court ruling against Peter Moyo (read transcript)

Nondumisa Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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