Orlando Pirates on Thembinkosi Lorch suspension: ‘We want to avoid double jeopardy’
This decision comes in the wake of Lorch receiving a suspended jail sentence for assaulting his girlfriend.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the club explained its decision to act swiftly against Lorch aligns with its commitment to fair justice and its policy of avoiding ‘double jeopardy,’ where players might be punished twice for the same offence.
“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,” the club announced.
Lorch’s suspension at Orlando Pirates will be lifted on 12 December 2023, where the club will be expected to make a further announcement, either reinstating the convicted woman-beater or terminating his contract.
The court’s verdict for Lorch was more than just a suspended sentence. In addition, Lorch has been directed to donate R100 000 to a group campaigning against gender-based violence, structured in a specific payment plan.
He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm under the Firearms Control Act. This stems from an incident three years ago where he was found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The legal issues for Lorch began when his then-girlfriend, Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala, filed an assault case against him in 2020. Following his arrest, he was released on bail, leading to the recent court developments.
Lorch has yet to surface with a public statement.