764-a newly reenstated General Secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi outside the Cosatu House this morning. Braamfontein Johannesburg 07-04-2014 Picture:Dumisani Dube

Johannesburg - Trade union Ceppwawu's leadership insisted on Friday that it was still “lawfully elected”, despite reports to the contrary.

IOL and BDLive reported that a faction within the union had suspended president Thamsanqa Mhlango, first deputy president Lucas Mashego, second deputy president Eunice Dlodlo and general secretary Simon Mofokeng at a national executive committee meeting held in their absence.

But Mofokeng told Sapa via sms on Friday that the leadership was still in place.

“We are still lawful elected national office-bearers of Ceppwawu,” he said.

“There was no NEC.”

Mofokeng did not answer any phone calls.

According to BDLive, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union's (Ceppwawu) national office-bearers had been accused of failing to hold a constitutional meeting since its elective congress in 2011. It had allegedly turned a blind eye to corruption and failed to submit compliance documents to the labour department.

This move could reportedly also see the four leaders aligned with the camp opposing Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi excluded from the trade union federation's central executive committee (CEC) on Monday.

Ceppwawu is a Congress of SA Trade Unions affiliate.

According to IOL, all four leaders were censured for attending last year’s Cosatu CEC meeting in August, allegedly without a mandate from the union’s members. It was at that meeting that the CEC decided to suspend Vavi for having an affair with a junior employee, among other things.

There was reportedly a quorum at Ceppwawu's meeting on Friday with only three provinces - Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State - boycotting it.