Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch suspended over domestic abuse sentence

Orlando Pirates star player Thembinkosi Lorch has been suspended from all club activities until 12 December 2023. 

Lorch was handed the suspension after a Randburg Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Fundiswa Mathithibala, in a domestic violence incident that took place in 2020.

He reportedly slapped and choked his then-girlfriend after she had asked about his whereabouts when he vanished. The two had planned to go out together. In July the Randburg Magistrate’s Court convicted Lorch for assault.

Lorch appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, November 21, where the magistrate handed him a five-year suspended jail sentence and fined R100,000.

Reacting to the judgement, Orlando Pirates said it has taken a strong stance against gender-based violence and will not tolerate any form of abuse from its players or staff. 

The statement read; 

“The club 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. Having said that, the club has removed Thembinkosi Lorch from all club activities until 12 December.”

Lorch is one of the most influential players for Orlando Pirates, having won the PSL Footballer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards in 2019. He has also represented South Africa’s national team, Bafana Bafana, on 13 occasions

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