After upgrading to the recently provided rpm of apache-1.3.9-8 I noticed
that the suEXEC mechanism was no longer working (and apache no longer
mentioned suEXEC on startup).
The problem is that /usr/sbin/suexec ought to be set suid but wasn't. By
chmod 711 /usr/sbin/suexec
the problem was resolved.
the suid bit was removed from suexec to provide a safer default security set-up.