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Sonke asks Pirates to take stronger action against Thembinkosi Lorch

Sonke Gender Justice is calling on Orlando Pirates Football Club to take stronger action against Thembinkosi Lorch’s alleged assault.

Police arrested Pirates midfielder Lorch for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend Nokhupiwa Mathithibala on Sunday evening 6 September.

The soccer club issued a statement condemning gender-based violence (GBV) against women and children and launched its own investigation into the matter on Tuesday.

However, on Wednesday, Sonke said in a statement that it wanted harsher measures, calling the response from Orlando Pirates “apathetic”.

Sonke’s call to Pirates

“For a club of Orlando Pirates’ stature, half-hearted condemnation of Mr Lorch’s deplorable actions is simply not enough,” the anti-GBV organisation’s statement read.

“In August the club swiftly subjected Mr Lorch to its internal processes after he was found to have breached the club’s protocols.

“It is therefore shocking that the club’s response to a gender-based violence allegation is so apathetic, demonstrating that the club does not take GBV seriously.

“Mr Lorch must be subjected to the club’s internal disciplinary processes.”

Make ‘an example of Lorch

Sonke wants Orlando Pirates to demonstrate how seriously it take GBV by making an example of Lorch.

“As one of the biggest clubs in South Africa, Orlando Pirates needs to lead by example and demonstrate that they are on the side of survivors of abuse,” it said.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) recently engaged in a memorandum of understanding with the South African Police Service to stand against crime and GBV.

It is for this reason that Sonke wants more action and less talk on any alleged violence.

Sonke wants the PSL to “establish clear standard operating procedures on how to ensure that players accused of any form of abuse are disciplined and held accountable”.

Lorch was released on bail shortly after being arrested.

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