The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has distanced itself from a statement calling for support of former president Jacob Zuma when he appears in court next Friday.

The ANC said the statement, entitled "Support for President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Nxamalala Mhlanganyelwa Zuma" was not issued by its interim co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala‚ as claimed on social media.

The ANC said the statement was issued on Monday during a press briefing organised by people who described themselves as representatives of business forums within and outside of KwaZulu-Natal. "The statement‚ among other things‚ calls upon people to come out in their numbers to support Cde Zuma when he appears in court next month‚" the statement said.

However‚ the party said Zikalala had, on several occasions, stated categorically that he would abide by the ANC national executive committee (NEC) decision on the matter.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule announced on Sunday that the party would not support Zuma in his upcoming trial but members could do so, as long as they did not wear the party’s regalia.

Zuma was served with a summons to appear in the Durban High Court on April 6 on charges of corruption‚ money-laundering and racketeering relating to the controversial multi-million rand arms deal.

Several "business forums" have vowed to throw their weight behind Zuma during these "trying times".

"It is our firm belief that justice delayed is justice denied. The spurious charges and their reinstatement will not put any bread and butter on top of the table of an African family. The whole arms deal was dealt with to the latter by the arms deal commission of inquiry as led by Judge Seriti‚" the groups said in a statement.

"We find ourselves back to the days where law-enforcement organs are used for political battles. We are [of the] view that the time for Chief Justice Moegoeng to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate white-collar crimes that are happening in the JSE is now."

The business forums said their "unwavering support for Nxamalala" was underpinned "by our conviction that he remains the father of [radical economic transformation] and land expropriation without compensation ... He is the first president to declare expropriation of land without compensation, thereby bringing hope for restoration of dignity for African people‚ [of which the] majority remain poor".

They said Zuma had also declared free tertiary education for "children of [the] working-class and the poor". The group said under his presidency‚ a target of 30% for black people to acquire equity in the mining sector was advanced.

"As such we are calling upon all people of SA to rally behind this gallant fighter of radical economic transformation and the revolution of African masses and go to Durban High Court on April 6 2018."