By Fifi Peters, CNBC Africa anchor and reporter
Old Mutual has won its case against its axed CEO Peter Moyo.
The protracted legal feud between insurance company Old Mutual, and its former Moyo resumed this morning where a full bench of judges delivered their verdict on whether the axed CEO can or cannot get his job back.
#BREAKING: Old Mutual's head of Communications, Tabby Tsengiwe emotional after court overturns Judge Mashile's decision to reinstate Peter Moyo as CEO #OldMutualvsMoyo @cnbcafrica pic.twitter.com/WcG0vpn0iL— Fifi Peters (@FifiPeters) January 14, 2020
Peter Moyo's says he is disappointed with the court outcome that has declared his firing as Old Mutual CEO as lawful. Indicates he may appeal the verdict. Listen to official statement. #oldmutualvsmoyo @cnbcafrica pic.twitter.com/C6vE9TEY5j— Fifi Peters (@FifiPeters) January 14, 2020
The crux of the court case centres around whether Old Mutual followed its own contractual procedures when firing Moyo.
Today’s court appearance follows Old Mutual’s decision to appeal an initial court ruling in July last year that declared the insurer’s firing of Moyo as unlawful and ordered for his temporary reinstatement.
For more on the #OldMutualvsMoyo saga click here
This will be the first time the two parties meet at the South Gauteng court in Johannesburg this year, following several appearances in 2019 after Old Mutual suspended Moyo in May and fired him in June over allegations of gross misconduct and a breakdown in trust and confidence.
The relationship breakdown stemmed from Moyo allegedly not acting in the insurer’s best interest by pocketing a dividend, worth millions, from NMT Capital – ahead of the investment firms payout of preference dividends owed to Old Mutual.
Moyo says he was fired following a fallout with board chair, Trevor Manuel after making protected disclosures about his use of company monies to foot his legal bills, without telling shareholders, and Manuel’s triple conflict of interest during the insurer’s managed separation from its London parent.
The decision is likely to impact investor sentiment towards the stock, which has been soured by the protracted legal action as well as South Africa’s ailing economy which has dampened consumer confidence.
On Monday, Old Mutual’s share price closed at R19.07 on the JSE, down more than 16% year on year. It share price shot up over 3 per cent on the news to R19.71.