Orlando Pirates midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch has recently faced sentencing in connection with a disturbing case involving the assault of his girlfriend.
The 2020 Violent Incident
In a June verdict, the Randburg Magistrate’s Court found Lorch guilty of assaulting Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The incident took place in 2020, leading to Lorch’s arrest for strangling and assaulting his then-girlfriend.
Following the assault, Nokuphiwa was hospitalized. This marked the third time Lorch had physically harmed her, prompting her to report the case to the South African Republic Police (SAPS). Lorch was arrested the day after the incident and was released on bail after paying R2,000.
Lorch’s violent outburst occurred when Nokuphiwa questioned him about his whereabouts after a six-hour disappearance. She was left alone at his house, where they had planned to spend time together after washing their two cars. According to her account, the Orlando Pirates player struck her and proceeded to strangle her while she lay on the ground.
Legal Consequences for Thembinkosi Lorch
The recent court appearance led to Thembinkosi Lorch receiving a five-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of R100,000 for assaulting his girlfriend. The Randburg Magistrate’s Court, declaring him unfit to possess a firearm under the Firearms Control Act, imposed additional conditions.
As part of the sentence, Lorch must avoid any convictions of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm during the suspended five years. Moreover, the court mandated an R100,000 payment to People Opposing Women Abuse, a prominent gender-based violence group. Lorch is required to make an initial payment of R50,000 on Tuesday, with the remaining balance settled in monthly tranches of R10,000.
Legal Proceedings and Prosecution Arguments
During the trial, state prosecutor Michele Hart presented medical evidence supporting the complainant’s testimony. Hart highlighted the absence of injuries on Lorch, indicating that he was the aggressor in the situation. The court found both Lorch and his witness less than credible during the proceedings.