Nkuna was a prominent ANC leader in the early 1990s – having played a big role in the party’s underground structures while it was banned under apartheid.
However, he served as the Select Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) chairperson in the Mpumalanga legislature between 2000 and 2004 as a United Democratic Movement (UDM) representative.
Nkuna was UDM’s founder member in Mpumalanga – a party that was formed by Bantu Holomisa following his dismissal from the ANC.
Nkuna went back to the ANC after the 2004 general elections following his suspension as UDM provincial leader because he was accused of trying to convince the party’s members to rejoin the ANC.
The EFF’s provincial organiser, Collen Sedibe, said Nkuna brought vast experience to the fledgling party.
“Nkuna’s decision to join us is very significant. He follows a number of former ANC leaders who have joined the EFF,” Sedibe said.
Other defectors include Mfana Nkosi, the former ANC chief whip in Mbombela council, former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) secretary Sonnyboy Maphanga, and former ANCYL treasurer Godrich Gardee.
Two months ago, former ANC councillor in Thaba Chweu municipality Paul Mogotsenyana resigned his ANC membership over “too much corruption” and joined the EFF.
Sedibe claimed the EFF had 357 000 paid-up members in the province and was eyeing the 600 000 mark by March next year. “There are many more experienced ANC members who will be joining us soon,” he said.
The ANC has played down the defections, which also saw former Umjindi (Barberton) mayor Richard Lukhele joining the Democratic Alliance last month, as being normal on the eve of elections.
Provincial ANC spokesperson, Siphosezwe Masango, said: “Nkuna is yet to write and state his reasons for leaving. I would be reluctant to assassinate Nkuna’s character because he’s left the ANC, but it’s difficult to say which principal objectives he’s married to, considering his history of defections.”
Nkuna told City Press that the ANC was making “fun” of him.
“What made me angry and disgusted is that the community wanted me to stand but the ANC leadership opted for somebody not active in the organisation. This was the last straw and it seems they were making fun of me and indirectly informing me that I’m useless,” he said.
Nkuna said that he joined the EFF after being approached by youth he had “groomed” in the ANC structures.