South Africa | Peter Moyo files appeal to stop Old Mutual from appointing a new CEO

Former Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo has filed an urgent court application, to prevent the financial services company from appointing a permanent CEO amid an ongoing legal battle.

Moyo's attorney Eric Mabuza confirmed to Fin24 on Sunday that the leave to appeal was filed at the Johannesburg High Court on Friday. The matter is to be heard on March 10, 2020.

Old Mutual has not yet responded to Fin24's request for comment.

This latest application by Moyo has added another twist in the battle between him and Old Mutual which started back in May 2019, when he was suspended. In June 2019, Old Mutual dismissed Moyo over a breakdown in trust and a conflict of interest related to NMT Capital, a boutique investment firm Moyo co-founded.

He then legally challenged his dismissal – and Judge Brian Mashile in July ordered that he be reinstated, pending the outcome of the second part of Moyo's application in which he seeks a damages claim for reputational harm.

Subsequently Old Mutual appealed this ruling and on January 14 the high court ruled in favour of the company, which also allowed it to appoint a new CEO.

According to Mabuza, the latest leave to appeal application by his client suspends the high court's judgment of January 14, which means Old Mutual cannot appoint a permanent CEO pending the outcomes of the case.

Mabuza said the application was "unnecessary" and that his client was forced to do it because Old Mutual wants to go ahead with a new appointment. He said that they had written to Old Mutual earlier in February to stop the company from going ahead with a new appointment, but Old Mutual "did not heed" their call.

"Everyone knows if you put in an application for leave to appeal, the judgment is suspended," Mabuza said.

This is a developing story.

Compiled by Lameez Omarjee