Court orders Peter Moyo reinstated as CEO of Old Mutual
The Johannesburg High Court has ordered Old Mutual to immediately reinstate fired CEO Peter Moyo and to pay all his legal costs because his suspension and subsequent dismissal in June was unlawful.
In a written judgment, Judge Brian Mashile said Old Mutual incorrectly applied clause 24.4.1 of the Labour Relations Act as the law that allowed it to fire Moyo without affording him a disciplinary hearing.
Mashile said Moyo should be temporarily reinstated pending part B of his court application in which he is seeking to have all directors of the Old Mutual board, including chair Trevor Manuel, declared delinquent.
Old Mutual fired Moyo on June 18 after a short suspension‚ citing a breakdown in trust between him and the board‚ as a result of a conflict of interest linked to NMT‚ a company co-founded by Moyo and in which Old Mutual has shares. He approached the court on June 28 for an urgent application to be temporarily reinstated and to interdict Old Mutual from filling his former position.
He was not afforded a disciplinary hearing because Old Mutual argued that clause 24.4.1 of the Labour Relations Act allows employers to terminate their employees’ contract on notice without going through that process. It argued during its oral submission in court earlier in July that it did not have to give any reason for firing Moyo and all it had to do was give him six-months pay for his notice period.