Thembinkosi Lorch escapes with suspended jail sentence

Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch has been handed a suspended jail sentence and fined R100 000 for assaulting his girlfriend.

Lorch, who appeared in the Randburg magistrate’s court on Tuesday morning, was also declared unfit to possess a firearm under the Firearms Control Act.

In June, the same court found him guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for strangling and hitting his girlfriend three years ago.

The midfielder appeared in court on Tuesday for sentencing and was granted a three-year direct imprisonment order which was suspended for five years with conditions.

During the suspended five years, Lorch should not be convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The court also ordered the soccer player to pay R100 000 to People Opposing Women Abuse, a gender-based violence group.

He will pay the first R50 000 on Tuesday and is expected to settle the balance in tranches of R10 000 every month.

Case of assault

A case of assault was opened by his then-girlfriend Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala in September 2020 and Lorch was arrested the following day and released on R2 000 bail.

Mathithibala said she was visiting Lorch when the soccer star left her at his residence to go out with a friend.

Said the National Prosecuting Authority in a statement: “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.”

During trial, state prosecutor 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,” Hart argued in court.

“The accused and his witness did not create a good impression in court and appeared to be not credible witnesses.”

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