Old Mutual South Africa will have to explain why its decision not to reinstate CEO Peter Moyo is not in contempt of court.
This was the ruling delivered on Monday morning at the Johannesburg High Court by Judge Cassim Moosa, who has allowed the second letter of termination that sacked Moyo to be considered as evidence in Moyo’s bid to be reinstated.
On June 17, Moyo was fired by Old Mutual due to alleged conflict of interest, but the High Court had declared that his axing was unlawful.
On July 30, Judge Brian Mashile ordered Old Mutual to reinstate him on a temporary basis, which they refused to do.
Moyo, who was barred from returning to work, launched a counter-application when he approached the high court to declare the conduct of Old Mutual’s board to be in contempt of court for “failing” to comply with the judgment.
Moyo has been outspoken against Old Mutual board chair, Trevor Manuel, whom he accused of having a personal vendetta against him.
He said that he was happy with the outcome of Monday’s court appearance.
Manuel heavily criticised the decision made by Judge Mashile, when he said that the decision was “overturned by a single individual who happens to wear a robe”.
Manuel later apologised for his comments.
In a statement issued last Monday, the former finance minister referred to his remark about Mashile as an “unguarded observation” which although withdrawn, had “understandably caused discomfort” and he apologised.
“My unguarded observation, although withdrawn, has understandably caused discomfort for which I apologise unreservedly to the honourable judge presiding and to my fellow South Africans. It was never my intention to show disrespect to the learned judge or his judgement,” he said.
The court will hear the matter on an urgent basis within 30 days.