The BMF has noted, with grave concern, the manner in which the Old Mutual Chairman, Mr. Trevor Manuel, has shown general disdain for not only Judge Mashile but the South African Judiciary system in its entirety.

A court order informed Old Mutual that Mr. Moyo must return to work whilst the Insurer’s appeal was still pending. However, Old Mutual has stated that its “second letter of termination to Mr. Moyo remains valid and hence he is not permitted nor required to return to work in the interim".

BMF President Andile Nomlala says, “Instead of them respecting and abiding by that order, they instead rely on some letter that they sent to someone that was, in their own version, no longer their employee. How a letter from Old Mutual can trump a court order is not clear to us”.

“As if that were not enough, at one stage during the question and answer session, Mr. Manuel referred to Judge Mashile (before he corrected himself) as “Brian Mashile” and goes on to refer to a finding that the Judge made as “quite bizarre”. Sentiments of this nature place a strain on efforts by the BMF to resolve the matter outside of courts. We, as the BMF, believe that this matter doesn't need courts, it needs cool heads that can engage one another to find a lasting solution" continued Nomlala.

What concerns the BMF even further is Mr. Manuel referring to a sitting High Court judge as “a single individual who happens to wear a robe”. It is a sad day when a large corporate such as Old Mutual, through its Chairman, refers to members of our Judiciary in this manner. 

We call upon Old Mutual to unreservedly issue an apology to Judge Mashile. A failure to do so will only strengthen the view of those calling upon the current Board to vacate office as it would confirm that they have no regard or respect for the rule of law in South Africa. Similarly, we call upon all Old Mutual shareholders to stand up in defense of our Judiciary.

- END –

 

The BMF is raising a litigation fund from which it can draw resources to litigate against gross violations derailing transformation efforts in South Africa. The fund is in line with the organisations 43rd national annual general meeting resolution to intensify the BMF’s advocacy against non-compliance. The BMF has historically played an important role through advocacy to advance the national objectives of socio-economic transformation. This is one of the four pillars of the raison d’être of the BMF.

The basis of the BMF Litigation fund will be to provide the forum with litigation financing in endeavors intended to:

  • Advise and champion all public interest litigation incidental to the founding principles of the organization and its members, including the general public on behalf of the BMF;
  • Hold public interest companies established in terms of section 72 (4) of the Act accountable for not achieving targets set in Employment Equity Plans;
  • Champion alternative dispute resolutions as a cost-effective mechanism for the resolution of disputes relating to the interpretation and implementation of Employment Equity Plans in line with section 20 (2) (g) of the Employment Equity Act, section 166 of the Act and King IV Report on Corporate Governance;
  • Represent the Forum as a material stakeholder that should be consulted by public interest companies in line with principle 16 of the King IV Report on Corporate Governance,
  • Lead the process of ensuring that Social and Ethics Committees prioritise Employment Equity and transformation as key performance indicators for public interest company boards, in particular by acting upon the outcomes of Social and Ethics Committees seminar convened by Companies Tribunal which advocates the involvement of civil society.

To this end and against the above-background the BMF seeks to reinforce its monitoring capacity through the establishment of the fund which will serve as a tool to enforce transformation in an effort to achieve justice, fairness and equity.

To support this cause, please go to the Payfast Cause Index and search for: BMF Litigation Fund.

Alternatively, you can find the link on the following platforms:

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @BMFNational
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/607604/
Website: www.bmfonline.co.za

- END –

The Black Management Forum (BMF) would like to congratulate its board member, Achumile Majija for winning Ghana’s 2019 Insurance Awards in the Young Achiever of the Year Award Category.

The Ghana Insurance Awards is an annual ceremony that celebrates the achievements and standards in the insurance industry in Ghana. The awards provide a spectacular occasion for insurance industry players to come together to celebrate and network, while rewarding achievement and leadership in various key areas.

The Awards includes categories for life and non-life companies, re-insurers, brokerage firms and other intermediaries, health insurers, actuarial firms and other insurance service providers.

Majija has demonstrated excellence, resilience and perseverance throughout his career. These are qualities which many young professionals should be guided by. It comes as no surprise to the BMF that Majija exemplifies these qualities as he is one of the founding members of BMF Young Professional (BMF YP) which plays a critical and pivotal role in grooming and refining our country’s future leaders, visionaries and change agents. Majija career trajectory is a true affirmation of this.

“The BMF is delighted with Majija’s awards because he has come of age in the BMF. His journey has been inspirational and is testimony that South Africa has Young Black Professionals of global standing” said BMF President Andile Nomlala.

“We wish him more success and encourage him to continue displaying the DNA of a true BMF Manager”, concluded Nomlala.

END -

The Black Management Forum is pleased to congratulate Sharmla Chetty on her appointment as Duke CE’s new President of Global Markets.

“The partnership between Duke CE and the BMF spans over a decade so we really got to know the institution and the person leading it”, said BMF Deputy President Tasneem Fredericks

Chetty is a strong advocate of female leadership and youth. The Women Leading Africa Board Leadership is an initiative she founded to increase the representation of women on boards and she is also one of the founding members of a mentoring circle designed to expose South African youth to business. The #MillionYoungMinds live stream is another initiative launched by Chetty as part of the Davos of Human Capital to get young people ready for the technology changes impacting our society.

The Duke CE South Africa office was opened by Chetty in 2007 and since then, she has catapulted the organisation into Africa’s leading leadership development provider which was ranked #1 in Africa according to The Financial Times 2019 rankings for custom executive education.

Duke CE has been at the forefront in disrupting executive education for the past 20 years and as part of her new role, Chetty will lead Duke CE’s global client business in customized executive education.

“Chetty epitomises what it means to want it all and to work hard to get it. She is a selfless leader who knows how to bring the best out in people”, Fredericks continued.

“We wish her well in her new role and look forward to another decade of meaningful engagements between Duke CE and the BMF”, Fredericks concluded.

- END –

The Black Management Forum (BMF) has noted the Gauteng High Court’s judgement in the matter between Mr. Peter Moyo and Old Mutual.

As the BMF, we are extremely concerned about some of the factual findings which have been made by the Court, which indicate that Old Mutual completely flouted corporate governance and labour law practices in pursuit of a highly experienced and competent black executive. These include the following:

  • Old Mutual’s Board (including Mr Trevor Manuel) ignored the concerns that were raised by Mr Moyo with regards to Mr Manuel’s real/potential conflict of interest due to his directorship in the three entities that were involved in the “Managed Separation” transaction;
  • The Old Mutual Board failed to act when it was brought to their attention that Old Mutual was paying Mr Manuel’s legal fees in a matter that had nothing to do with Old Mutual;
  • Contrary to the public statements which have been made by Old Mutual, Mr Manuel continued to participate in the discussions relating to the “Managed Separation” transaction;
  • Old Mutual ignored the fact that its representative at the NMT Board (Mr Patel) had not indicated that any conflict of interest had ever arisen in his presence and that he had in fact supported the resolutions of the NMT Board; and
  • Old Mutual inexplicably sought to hold Mr Moyo responsible, as a non-executive director (NED) of NMT, for issues which are clearly the responsibility of NMT management and issues which Mr Moyo, like all other NEDs of NMT, was not aware of.  

As the BMF, we have been following this impasse very closely and have been concerned about the way Old Mutual sought to remove a competent black CEO under the guise of a concern about a conflict of interest. To us, this has always appeared to be a smokescreen designed to mask the real issues at play. We are pleased that the Court has, in its ruling, effectively reinforced the principle that companies cannot just get rid of employees, more especially black senior executives, without following proper procedure.

The BMF notes that the judgement was primarily about whether there was compliance with certain contractual provisions of the agreement concluded between Mr Moyo and Old Mutual and takes the view that those are ultimately issues to be resolved between those parties. However, BMF is very concerned about the apparent lack of compliance with basic governance principles by the Old Mutual Board, more so when such is done at the expense of those who have a vested interest not only in Old Mutual but in good corporate governance in general. This is indicative of the view that BMF has always shared, that the failure of governance should never be an issue that is reserved for the public sector only as the private sector is just as contaminated.

We are aware that Old Mutual has elected to appeal the judgement, as they are entitled to, but BMF’s view remains that the corporate governance issues highlighted in this judgement need to be seriously considered.

END