July 31, 2019 / 1:53 PM / 4 months ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-Old Mutual's fired boss turns up for work after court ruling

(Repeats to add link to Breakingviews comment)

By Emma Rumney

JOHANNESBURG, July 31 (Reuters) - South African insurer Old Mutual’s fired boss Peter Moyo turned up for work on Wednesday after a court ruled in favour of his reinstatement, and was allowed into the company’s Johannesburg offices but not permitted to resume his duties.

Old Mutual said it was appealing against Moyo’s temporary reinstatement as ordered by a judge on Tuesday and he would not be allowed to return to work as a result of this continued legal action.

The judge also blocked South Africa’s No.2 insurer from seeking a replacement for Moyo, who was suspended in May and subsequently fired following a disagreement over a conflict of interest.

Following a lengthy discussion between the two sides’ legal teams while Moyo waited at the premises on Wednesday morning, the insurer said it had taken advice and was confident in its approach.

“Old Mutual is comfortable with the position it has adopted on the impact of the application,” it said in a statement, adding there would be no further meeting between the legal teams on Wednesday.

It said interim CEO Iain Williamson would continue to lead the business for now.

Moyo’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment. However he told reporters earlier on Wednesday that Old Mutual’s appeal was not sufficient to suspend the court order.

Longer term Moyo wants to have his job permanently reinstated or win unspecified damages from the insurer, as well as have its board disqualified as directors of the company.

Reporting by Emma Rumney Editing by Susan Fenton and David Holmes

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