I will be a political prisoner - Malema

The expelled ANCYL leader says he will go to prison for political reasons if he must.

Julius Malema greets supporters outside the Polokwane Regional Court on November 30, 2012. Picture: AFP.

POLOKWANE - Expelled ANC Youth League Leader Julius Malema says he is prepared to go to prison for political reasons, if necessary.

On Friday, prosecutors added a charge of racketeering to the money laundering charges he already faces. This carries a sentence of life in prison.

Malema's case was remanded until April and moved to the high court in Pretoria.

He was praised by his allies outside the court, who hailed him as a soldier and the leader of economic freedom fighters.

Outside the court, Malema assured a crowd of supporters that he never pocketed any money unlawfully.

"I have not stolen from you. I will never steal from you."

Malema says he'll prove in court that the case against him is a political plot, hatched at a high level meeting in Cape Town in September.

The expelled youth leader also told supporters that it would be a failure for the country, should President Jacob Zuma be re-elected at the Mangaung conference.

"We must make sure Mangaung produces what we want. If we fail in Mangaung, we have failed South Africa, we have failed Africa, we have failed our people, we have failed humanity."