Axed Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo says there is no punishment befitting Old Mutual directors other than six months' jail time, without the option of a fine, on the contempt of court charges he lodged against them for disregarding a ruling that he be reinstated.

In an affidavit filed at the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) this week, Moyo said the insurance giant's directors, including its chair Trevor Manuel, must be jailed ‘as punishment for their contempt of court without the option a fine’.

‘A non-custodial sentence would be disturbingly inappropriate in this particular case,’ reads the affidavit, according to Fin24.

Old Mutual argued in its court papers, that it is not in contempt of court for refusing to let Moyo return to work at his office.

The group argued its relationship with Moyo had been ‘completely destroyed’ with no chance of a future successful relationship.

According to Moyo, Old Mutual's non-executive directors have shown unprecedented levels of contempt for court judgments, the judge assigned to the case and the rule of law.

In his affidavit, Moyo lists several incidents that informed his contempt of court suit, among them the refusal by Old Mutual to allow him to carry out his duties as CEO, as ruled by the court; utterances made by Old Mutual representatives which he argues have undermined the authority of the court; the refusal to allow him to carry out his duties following a September court ruling, which dismissed the company's application to stop him from returning to work until its appeal process is concluded; and remarks made by Manuel about the Judge Mashile at a media conference, where he referred to the latter as a ‘single individual who happens to wear a robe’.

Old Mutual is appealing the reinstatement ruling.

Full Fin24 report