South African soccer player, Thembinkosi Lorch, has been handed a suspended jail sentence after he was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala.
The Randburg Magistrates’ Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, sentenced the Orlando Pirates player to three years imprisonment for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The sentence was wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty of committing a similar offence during the period of suspension.
He was further ordered to pay a fine of R100 000 to the non-governmental organisation, People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), with R50 000 payable immediately (today), and the balance in instalments.
His then-girlfriend had filed a complaint with the Midrand Police in September 2020, which 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,” Ms Hart said.
“The accused and his witness did not create a good impression in court as they were found to be non-credible witnesses,”
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it will continue in its fight against Gender-Based Violence to protect women from being subjected and/or targeted by perpetrators of GBV.