Trevor Manuel apologises ‘unreservedly’ for disparaging comment about judge

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

Old Mutual board chairperson Trevor Manual has apologised for his disparaging comments about a judge.

During a press briefing last week, he referred to Gauteng Judge Brian Mashile as a “single individual who happens to wear a robe.”

If you take a board imbued with the responsibility and accountability and you get that overturned by a single individual who happens to wear a robe, I think you have a bit of a difficulty.

Trevor Manuel

He was defending Old Mutual board’s decision to appeal Judge Mashile’s ruling in favour of Peter Moyo, the company’s chief executive office.

‘Wholly inappropriate’

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Manuel apologised unreservedly, adding that his language was “wholly inappropriate.”

He explained that it wasn’t his intention to show disrespect to Judge Mashile or his judgement.

My unguarded observation, although withdrawn, has understandably caused disquiet for which I apologise unreservedly, to the honourable judge presiding and to my fellow South Africans.

Trevor Manuel

Manuel further said he “sincerely regretted” the way he voiced his disagreement with the ruling.

He reiterated his “respect for the judiciary” while reaffirming his full support for the board’s decision to appeal Judge Mashile’s ruling.


Manuel came under criticism from various quarters for his remarks on the judge.

The Black Management Forum (BMF) slammed him for “showing disdain for Judge Mashile and the judiciary.”

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