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Trevor Manuel apologises over remarks about judge  

‘It was never my intention to show disrespect to the learned judge or his judgment’.

The chairman of South African insurer Old Mutual, Trevor Manuel, on Tuesday apologised for comments he made last week in reference to the judge presiding over its court battle with fired chief executive Peter Moyo.

Read: Manuel: Moyo can come for coffee, but not to work

Old Mutual has been locked in a bitter and damaging dispute with Moyo since it suspended him in May in relation to a conflict of interest.

It fired him a few weeks later, but he was reinstated by the courts in an embarrassing outcome for the insurer, which sacked him for a second time last month.

After months of public fighting that have knocked Old Mutual’s reputation, Manuel said during a press conference last week that “difficulty” arises when a board could be overturned “by a single individual who happens to wear a robe”.

His words drew criticism from Moyo’s legal team and some media, and the company said in a statement on Tuesday that Manuel had withdrawn his comment.

“It was never my intention to show disrespect to the learned judge or his judgment,” Manuel said. “I accept that my language was wholly inappropriate to express my disagreement with the decision and sincerely regret the manner in which I did so.”

The battle with Moyo has shaken some shareholders’ confidence in one of South Africa’s oldest companies just as it tries to return to its roots as an African financial services group after breaking up an international conglomerate structure.

Repeated losses in the courts, concerns that Moyo’s departure was sloppily handled and the drawn-out public fight helped to knock almost 20% off the insurer’s share price at its peak, though the stock has since recovered much of that loss.

Old Mutual has been granted leave to appeal Moyo’s temporary reinstatement.

However, it still faces two contempt of court applications brought by Moyo after it refused to allow him back to work pending the appeal process – a stance Judge Brian Mashile, who has so far ruled on the case, has said Old Mutual should not have taken.

Old Mutual shares were down 1.3% at 1450 GMT. 

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Jeezz!!! Apologize when you are correct in your evaluation of a situation!! Only in SA !!!!

@casper1
You clearly have a limited experience of these matters.
Not that I am the expert here, but Manuel blew it!! As a serious politician who wants to earn millions from his reputation – HE BLEW IT!
For himself and Old Mutual.
Best is for him to step aside or OM to terminate his contract.
Hubris and Arrogance only works if you are aligned to the majority party and have your cadres supporting you in a friendly media.
No longer – I lost my respect for him (not it will make much difference to him, though)

Hmm, Trevor and Julius are birds of a feather. Ain’t that ironic.

Just the command of the English language is slightly more advanced in this cadre but this comes with years of rubbing shoulders with the financial elite.

The youngster is trying hard though. Who can forget the photo of him and Robin.

Same friends so birds of a feather it is.

He is still insulting the judge!

Maybe so – do recall an inebriated one crashing into a wall some time ago but then again one should show respect then ne!!!!

A politician who’s not politically correct. He didn’t bring life insurance experience, academic qualification or business acumen to the table, and now it turns out he’s even short of decorum. Only in SA.

Seems Old Mutual are now in full flight PR panic-mode after Manuel’s disastrous throw-away comment at the end of what had been a reasonable exposition of their position (although obviously entirely as seen only from their viewpoint).

Manuel has essentially implied the judge is a “delinquent”, and out of step with what his fellow judges would find.

Manuel’s unwise public comment is going to haunt him, and the courts too, for many years to come.

It shows that even if you came from the “ghetto”,hated prejudice,
hated apartheid,became free,then became minister of finance,now a bigwig you cannot take the gangster out of the boy.
Its just like the so called white racists that now claim they are no longer racists.They still are.

Any self respecting person in his position should resign. HA-HA ,not in this failed state

YES, NOW THE REAL POLITICAL BACKGROUND CONNECTIONS AND ATTITUDE (THE LACK OF ETIQUETTE / CORRECTNESS) COLORS SHINES THROUGH – CRYSTAL CLEAR.

OR WAS IT AN INCORRECT ALOUD THINKING OF SA’S CURRENT EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS

Listen Here – Trevor is special – even Maria chose him!!! His PENNY POLONY IS SPECIAL!!!

He looked sober when he said those words and yet his claims are as though he was somehow drunk. Makes one wonders how he “leads” Old Mutual board.

Just another instance where Trevor Manuel announces to the world that he thinks that he is the untouchable high and mighty.

Like a number of his peers if I see their name on the board or affiliated with any company or project I stay well clear because it’s very likely to end in a mess with ego’s all over the floor.

Shame on you Trevor, shame on you!

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