July 23, 2024

Orlando Pirates have taken swift action against star Thembinkosi Lorch in a move that upholds the club’s ‘values’.

On Wednesday, Pirates issued a statement to announce that Lorch has been suspended from all the club’s activities until 12 December.

The club’s decision comes in the wake of legal proceedings involving Lorch. The latter dodged a bullet as he escaped a potential jail sentence with a suspended sentence and a hefty fine for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

In September 2020, Lorch’s then-girlfriend Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala filed an assault complaint against him, leading to his arrest the following day. He was released on R2,000 bail.

Lorch, who was found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for hitting and strangling his ex-girlfriend in June, appeared in the Randburg magistrate court on Tuesday for sentencing.

The attacker was initially handed a three-year direct imprisonment order. However, this was suspended for five years on condition that he commit no further offenses of the same nature during that time.

In addition, Lorch was also ordered to pay a R100,000 fine to People Opposing Women Abuse [POWA], a gender-based violence group.

Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates in action-
Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates in action
Due to his suspension, the 30-year-old is poised to miss Pirates’ upcoming DStv Premiership matches against Richards Bay FC, Moroka Swallows, and TS Galaxy.

The club statement read as follows:

“Orlando Pirates Football Club has noted the conclusion of legal proceedings involving our player, Thembinkosi Lorch.

“Consistent with Orlando Pirates Rules and Pledge, articulated in the statement the club issued when the legal proceedings commenced, the club is commencing its internal process. Orlando Pirates Football Club is at all times mindful of its obligation as a result of the employer-employee relationship it has with the players.

“The club also 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 December 12. Orlando Pirates Football Club is grateful to its sponsors, supporters, and the broader community for the space that you have provided in ensuring the rule of law and the clubs value system play out without hinderance.”

The Soweto giants, having previously affirmed their unwavering opposition to violence against women and children, strongly condemned Lorch’s actions upon learning of the abuse.

And after conducting their own investigation a few months ago, Pirates stated that Lorch “pleaded guilty to the charge and the club imposed a sanction of a monetary fine and ordered him to undergo anger management therapy.”

However, Pirates did not provide details on Lorch’s future beyond his suspension.

RELATED STORY: Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch escapes jail but faces a hefty fine

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