0565-a newly reenstated General Secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi outside the Cosatu House this morning. Braamfontein Johannesburg 07-04-2014 Picture:Dumisani Dube

Johannesburg - The top leadership of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) has been suspended.

This has emerged following a three-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

Independent Newspapers has learnt that the union’s president, first deputy president, second deputy president and general secretary have been suspended.

The NEC is sitting for the first time following a two-year hiatus which flouts its constitution.

According to insiders who did not want to be named, it was for this reason that general secretary, Simon Mofokeng, was given notice on Wednesday to tell the NEC why he should not be suspended.

He was also asked to explain why he had allegedly impeded the work of the union’s national treasurer, and to explain why he allegedly had a labour broking firm with Sasol.

Sasol employs a number of Ceppwawu members.

Union president Thamsanqa Mhlongo was asked to account for why he did not provide proper oversight over Mofokeng, as were the two deputy presidents, Eunice Dlodlo and Lucas Mashego.

A provincial Ceppawu leader said NEC had resolved that Dlodlo and Mashego’s responses were insufficient and therefore they were suspended on Friday.

All four were also censured for attending last year’s August Cosatu central executive committee (CEC), allegedly without a mandate from the union’s members.

At that meeting, it was decided to suspend Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

It is understood that the four suspended officials did not attend this week’s NEC, and officials from Mpumalanga, Kwa-ZuluNatal and the Free State boycotted the meeting.

While this could be used to challenge the validity of the suspensions, unionists say there was a quorum.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said earlier on Friday that the federation was not aware of the suspensions. He did, however, confirm that the union has failed to hold NEC meetings.

He said Cosatu steered clear of interfering in the affairs of affiliates.

Politcal Bureau