September 9, 2019 / 11:04 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Fired Old Mutual boss returns to work again, as court rules against insurer

(Adds Old Mutual comment, CEO comment)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Sacked Old Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo on Monday turned up for work but has again been prevented from resuming his duties despite a court ruling last week that dismissed the insurer’s attempt to block his temporary reinstatement.

Moyo, who was fired in June in a dispute over a conflict of interest, was temporarily reinstated by the court in July but Old Mutual said he could not return to work while it appealed.

South Africa’s second largest insurer had hoped to block Moyo’s reinstatement, arguing that his temporary reinstatement would in effect be permanent as a court case against his dismissal would take a long time.

But Judge Brian Mashile on Friday ruled in favour of Moyo in another instalment of a highly unusual case that has turned into a messy public battle that has frustrated investors and weighed on the share price.

“They are again preventing Mr Moyo from taking over his duties as CEO,” said Eric Mabuza, Moyo’s lawyer.

Mabuza said Moyo would return home pending the outcome of an urgent court application that Old Mutual was preparing adding that he did not have details on the ground of the application.

“I’m not going to allow myself to be bullied. There is absolutely nothing wrong that I did,” Moyo told reporters in the lobby of Old Mutual’s Sandton offices before leaving.

Old Mutual spokeswomen Tabby Tsengiwe said they planned to seek clarity on the implementation of the ruling.

“They have a different view from to us and we have a different view to them so we have decided to once again go to the courts,” said Tsengiwe.

Old Mutual said in a statement that it would not allow Moyo to return to his duties because a second notice of termination given on Aug. 21 stands and the company would continue to fight his attempts to be reinstated.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, editing by Louise Heavens and Giles Elgood

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