South Africa: Business Leaders, Why Are You Silent About the Destructive Old Mutual-Peter Moyo Impasse?

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opinion

As shareholders continue to lose billions of rand from the five-month dust-up between axed-but-reinstated CEO Peter Moyo and Old Mutual, business leaders are silent. There is a climate of fear around speaking out, which is bad for corporate governance in SA.

"I think Peter Moyo and Trevor Manuel should leave Old Mutual. The dispute is now about their egos. In the interest of Old Mutual and shareholders, they both need to walk away from the company."

This is what a prominent executive told me when I asked him about Moyo's public fight to get his job back at Old Mutual, which has gripped the nation over the past five months.

Next, he said what is a buzzkill for many journalists: he didn't want his comments about the Moyo and Old Mutual dust-up to be attributed to him. He moves in the same business circles as Manuel, the Old Mutual board chair, and fears reprisals for speaking publicly.

Astonishingly, executives haven't come out publicly to opine about the corporate battle that has played out at the High Court, with Moyo amassing victories against Old Mutual. But they gleefully do so in private with their industry colleagues.

Executives have many options to...

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