Those who say the participation of former president Jacob Zuma in the ANC's election campaign will impact negatively on the party "don't understand how the ANC operates", former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo said on Friday.
Mahumapelo was one of the embattled ANC leaders at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg to support Zuma.
Zuma was in the dock facing 16 charges of fraud, money laundering, corruption and racketeering linked to 783 payments which French company, Thales, allegedly made to him in connection with the notorious arms deal.
Former finance minister Des van Rooyen was also at the court to support Zuma.
"Irrespective of their background and their positions, we must galvanise all forces, all members to campaign for the victory of the African National Congress. So, whoever says the participation of president Zuma in the campaign will impact negatively on the ANC, then they don't understand how the ANC operates," Mahumapelo told journalists outside court.
BLF leader Andile Mngxitama was also among Zuma's supporters who gathered at Freedom Square, across the way from the court, where Zuma is expected to address them after his court appearance.
A large police contingent is also present outside court.
In his latest attempt to stop his criminal case from continuing, Zuma filed a 300-page affidavit asking for a permanent stay of prosecution.
He claims to be a victim of an orchestrated attempt by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to associate him with corruption.