Limpopo - Supporters of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said he had done nothing wrong, ahead of his appearance in the Polokwane Regional Court on Wednesday.
“There is nothing wrong (with what)… our leader did. If he did anything wrong why (is this case happening) now?” asked a supporter.
“It is because we are going to Mangaung. This is just a plan to sabotage our leader.”
Thulani Motsepe, 23, from Germiston, said he took a taxi to Polokwane on Tuesday because he felt he needed to show the world that Malema was innocent.
Malema's supporters believed their presence would have an impact on the charges against him.
“I came all the way from the inner city branch in Johannesburg, just to prove that there is no case against my leader,” said 27-year-old Xolelwa Ngele.
A placard carried by supporters read: “hands-off our leader, he did nothing wrong”.
When Malema arrived at the court, some of his supporters ran towards the court fence, jostling to get a glimpse of him.
Malema is accused of money laundering. The charge sheet lists him as accused number 10.
On Tuesday, four of his co-accused appeared in court and were granted bail of R40 000 each.
They are accused of fraud, corruption and money-laundering, relating to a R52 million tender awarded to On-Point Engineers. Four companies were also charged.
Malema handed himself over to the Polokwane police on Wednesday morning, before his court appearance, reported SABC.
Roads leading to the court were closed on Wednesday and police were monitoring the situation.
There was barbed wire outside the court and police Nyalas were positioned in various places surrounding the court.
Hundreds of Malema supporters sang and danced outside the courthouse. The crowd was expected to swell as the day progressed.
Others sat on the pavement, and leaned against the walls after participating in a night vigil for Malema on Tuesday. - Sapa