Thembinkosi Lorch suspendedThembinkosi Lorch suspended-Image Source@iharare

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

Domestic Violence Verdict

This suspension follows a verdict by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, which found Lorch guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend, Fundiswa Mathithibala, in a domestic violence incident dating back to 2020.

The incident unfolded when Lorch physically attacked Mathithibala following inquiries about his whereabouts after he mysteriously disappeared. The Randburg Magistrate’s Court, in July, convicted Lorch for assault.

During his recent appearance in court, Lorch received a five-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of R100,000.

Club’s Strong Stance

Thembinkosi Lorch suspended
Thembinkosi Lorch suspended-Image Source@iHarare

In response to these developments, Orlando Pirates released a statement emphasizing their commitment to combatting gender-based violence. The club expressed zero tolerance for any form of abuse from its players or staff.

“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, a key player for Orlando Pirates, has achieved significant recognition, winning the PSL Footballer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards in 2019. Additionally, he has represented the national team, Bafana Bafana, on 13 occasions.

This suspension deals a substantial blow to the Buccaneers, currently placed seventh in the South African Premier Division table.

Outrage and Calls for Accountability

Lorch’s case has ignited outrage and condemnation from fans and activists alike. Many are advocating for harsher penalties and increased accountability for perpetrators of gender-based violence.

Recent statistics from the South African Police Service reveal a concerning trend, with 53,293 cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm reported in 2022/23, of which 21,325 were related to domestic violence.

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