Orlando Pirates news Lorch

Thembinkosi Lorch. Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

UPDATE: Orlando Pirates suspend star player!

Orlando Pirates have effectively suspended star Thembinkosi Lorch after his sentencing in relation to a domestic abuse case.

Orlando Pirates news Lorch

Thembinkosi Lorch. Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Earlier this year, Pirates attacker Thembinkosi Lorch was found guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala. The case dates back to an incident three years ago when he was accused of having the intent to cause bodily harm by hitting and strangling her.

Lorch then appeared in the Randburg magistrate’s court on Tuesday morning for sentencing, and was handed a three-year direct imprisonment order – which was suspended for five years with conditions that he should not be convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm during this period.

Pirates have now confirmed that they have removed Lorch from all club activities until December 12, effectively suspending him while they assess matters.

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Pirates released the following statement

Orlando Pirates Football Club has noted the conclusion of legal proceedings involving our player, Thembinkosi Lorch. Consistent with Orlando Pirates Rules and Pledge, articulated in the statement the club issued when the legal proceedings commenced, the Club is commencing its internal process.

Orlando Pirates Football Club is at all times mindful of its obligation as a result of the employer-employee relationship it has with the players. The Club also handles the administration of justice in a manner that avoids double jeopardy – where the players would be punished twice for the same offence. 
The above are consistent with the club values without which the Club would not function judiciously.

Orlando Pirates Football Club is grateful to its sponsors, supporters and the broader community for the space that you have provided in ensuring the rule of law and the clubs value system play out without hinderance.

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As part of the court’s ruling, Lorch also has to pay R100 000 to People Opposing Women Abuse, a gender-based violence group, while he was also declared unfit to possess a firearm under the Firearms Control Act.

A case of assault was first opened by his then-girlfriend Mathithibala in September 2020 and Lorch was arrested the following day before being released on R2 000 bail.

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“Mathithibala saw that it was getting late and messaged him to return her car keys,” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said as quoted by the Sunday World. “On arrival, an argument ensued and Lorch became violent towards her and started to strangle her, and beat her whilst pulling her up and down. She called for help and his friend came to her rescue.”

Michele Hart, the State’s Prosecutor, also stated: “The accused, [Lorch], did not have any injuries which meant that he was the aggressor. The accused and his witness did not create a good impression in court and appeared to be not credible witnesses.”

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