In a recent development, Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch has been given a suspended three-year prison sentence by the Randburg Magistrate Court.
The sentence comes after Lorch was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, marking a serious incident that has garnered significant attention.
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The court found Lorch guilty of “assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm” in July, following an incident that took place in 2020. This conviction carries a potential sentence of up to five years imprisonment. However, Lorch was ultimately handed a suspended sentence, allowing him to continue playing for Pirates in the DStv Premiership.
Alongside the suspended sentence, Lorch has been ordered to pay R100,000 to a gender-based violence group named People Opposing Women Abuse. This financial penalty serves as a form of restitution and aims to support organizations combating gender-based violence.
Additionally, as part of his sentence, Lorch will not be permitted to own a gun. This restriction is implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved.
The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa released a statement in June after Lorch’s guilty verdict. The statement detailed the events leading up to the arrest and subsequent legal proceedings:
“Soccer star Thembinkosi Lorch has been found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, by the Randburg Magistrates’ Court. The case relates to a complaint laid with the Midrand Police by his girlfriend in September 2020, that resulted in his arrest and subsequent release on bail of R2000.
Lorch was arrested on 07 September 2020, following an incident that happened at his place of residence in Midrand, on 06 September 2020. Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala said she was visiting Lorch when he left her at his home to go out with his friend. Mathithibala saw that it was getting late and messaged him to return her car keys. On arrival, an argument ensued and Lorch became violent towards her and started to strangle her, beat her whilst pulling her up and down. She called for help and his friend came to her rescue.
The accused 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.”
The court’s decision to hand down a suspended sentence raises important discussions surrounding gender-based violence and the consequences for such actions. It serves as a reminder that no individual, regardless of their status or occupation, is exempt from accountability.
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It is crucial for society to continue raising awareness about gender-based violence and supporting organizations that work tirelessly to combat it. By acknowledging and addressing these issues, we can strive for a safer and more equitable world.
As the football community processes this news, it is essential to remember that the actions of one individual do not define an entire team or organization.
Orlando Pirates, like any other institution, will need to navigate this situation with care and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to address the matter.
Ultimately, the hope is that this incident serves as a catalyst for change, encouraging open conversations and fostering an environment where gender-based violence is not tolerated. Only through collective efforts can we create a society that upholds the values of respect, empathy, and equality.
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