Old Mutual lambasted what it called former CEO Peter Moyo’s “inflated sense of self-importance” as the company opposed a legal bid he launched against his dismissal.
In an answering affidavit filed in the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, Old Mutual came out swinging against its former executive, accusing him of failing to uphold a level of trust expected of him, and stating that his dismissal was fair.
Moyo had earlier approached the High Court challenging his dismissal on June 17 and attempting to bar the company from filling his old position.
“In seeking the extraordinary relief that he does, the applicant’s inflated sense of self-importance is astonishing,” read an affidavit filed by company secretary Elsabe Kirsten.
Old Mutual initially suspended Moyo on May 24 to investigate an alleged conflict involving dividend payment by NMT Capital, a company he co-founded. Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, a subsidiary of Old Mutual, is an investor in NMT Capital.
The affidavit claims that Moyo personally benefited from approximately R30,6 million in dividends which he “did not at any stage raise” with the board chairman Trevor Manuel.
No whistle blower
The company further rejects Moyo’s attempt to position himself as a whistle blower, after he raised the matter of the payment of Manuel’s legal fees by the firm in a litigation case.
“This is entirely fanciful”, says the affidavit.
According to Old Mutual, it was Moyo who approved the decision. Old Mutual also accuses Moyo of portraying himself as a “victim of adverse publicity” and says his application lacks urgency.
Moyo has said trouble between himself and Old Mutual started in March 2018, when he voiced concerns about what he perceived as a “triple conflict” on the part of board chair Trevor Manuel during the
process of the company’s Managed Separation.
Manuel was simultaneously a director of Old Mutual plc, the chairperson of Old Mutual (Limited) and the chairperson of Rothschild & Co, which was one of the transaction advisers. — Fin24.