Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch has avoided serving jail time after being found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend but has been ordered to pay a hefty fine.
The court found that Lorch had assaulted his then-girlfriend, Fundiswa Mathithibala, in September 2020, leaving her with injuries.
He was charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for strangling and hitting Mathithibala.
In addition to his suspended jail sentence, Lorch has been declared unfit to possess a firearm under the Firearms Control Act.
The decision to declare Lorch unfit to possess a firearm was made by the Randburg magistrate’s court, where he appeared on Tuesday morning.
According to Sunday World, Lorch received a three-year jail sentence, which is suspended for five years with conditions.
Within this period of time, he mustn’t be found guilty “of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.”
The report also stated that Lorch was ordered to pay R100 000 to People Opposing Women Abuse, a gender-based violence group. He’s been demanded to pay R50,000 on Tuesday, followed by monthly installments of R10,000 to settle the remaining balance.
The assault case was initiated by Lorch’s then-girlfriend, Mathithibala three years ago. The player was then arrested the following day and subsequently released on R2,000 bail.
In June this year, the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed via the statement that the 30-year-old had been found guilty of assault on Mathithibala.
NPA STATEMENT ON THEMBINKOSI LORCH’S CASE
“Soccer star Thembinkosi Lorch has been found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, by the Randburg Magistrates’ Court,” the NPA stated via the statement in June.
“The case relates to a complaint laid with the Midrand Police by his girlfriend in September 2020. It 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.
“State prosecutor, Ms Michele Hart argued that the medical evidence corroborated the evidence of the complainant. 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 case was postponed to 28 July 2023, for sentencing proceedings.”
Lorch recently returned from a long-term injury and has been a key player for the Buccaneers both in the DStv Premiership and Carling Knockout Cup. His impressive performances have also seen him receive Man of the Match accolades.
In this season, he has made seven appearances and provided one assist but is yet to score a goal.
Story by Joshua Hendricks