Sonke Gender Justice welcomes the conviction of footballer Thembinkosi Lorch

09 June 2023 – Sonke Gender Justice welcomes the judgement against Orlando Pirates soccer star Thembinkosi Lorch, who has been found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend Fundiswa Mathithibala in 2020, by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg.

In January 2021 the assault case against the football player was provisionally withdrawn by the magistrate’s court, as the prosecution had instructed the police to conduct further investigations. Earlier this week, the National Prosecution Authority confirmed that the Randburg Magistrate’s Court found Lorch guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

“We welcome the conviction on this matter. We hope that the sentence will serve a strong message to all especially celebrities, that Gender-based violence is never acceptable. Those who commit such acts will be held accountable.” Bafana Khumalo, Co-Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson of the Global MenEngage Alliance. The case has been postponed to July 28 for sentencing. Sonke calls on the criminal justice system to be just as judicious in matters that involve famous persons.

For media enquiries contact:

Kgomotso Mophulane, Communications & Strategic Information Manager, Sonke Gender Justice on or 0835196187.

Bafana Khumalo, Co-Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson, Global MenEngage Alliance: or 082 5784479.


Sonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. We believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice, and achieve gender transformation. For media releases, reports and news visit and