Thembinkosi Lorch, a football player from South Africa, was sentenced to a suspended term in jail for hitting his ex-girlfriend Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala.

The Orlando Pirates player was sentenced to three years in prison by the Randburg Magistrates’ Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, for assault with the intent to cause serious bodily harm.

penalty was fully suspended for a period of five years, provided that no comparable offences were committed by him during that time.

Additionally, he was mandated to pay R100,000 as a fine to People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), a non-governmental organisation. Of that amount, R50,000 is due today, and the remaining amount must be paid in installments.

After his ex-girlfriend lodged a complaint with the Midrand Police in September 2020, he was taken into custody and later released on an R2000 bond.

After an incident at his Midrand apartment on September 06, 2020, Lorch was placed under arrest on September 07, 2020.

Nokuphiwa Fundiswa Mathithibala claimed that when Lorch left her at his house to go out with his friend, she was there on a visit. As night fell, Mathithibala sent him a message asking him to give back her car keys.

After they got into a fight when they arrived, Lorch started beating and strangling her while also pulling her up and down. His acquaintance responded to her call for assistance.

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.