Orlando Pirates may need to visit transfer market if convicted Thembinkosi Lorch is jailed

Thembinkosi Lorch in action for Orlando Pirates

FILE - Thembinkosi Lorch in action for Orlando Pirates. Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 31, 2023

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Soweto giants Orlando Pirates face a huge dilemma as they may have to look at the transfer market to find an an alternative forward Thembinkosi Lorch, who may face jail time for assaulting his ex-girlfriend Fundiswa Mathithibala.

Lorch was found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after he strangled Mathithibala. He will now have to wait until September to find out his official sentence after court proceedings were halted by his absence last week.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane revealed that the case would next be heard in September, with Lorch having been on tour with Pirates in Spain and unable to ready themselves for the court appearance on Friday.

“The court could not proceed as Mr Lorch and his defence team were not ready with their pre-sentencing report, citing that the accused was out of the country and they could not complete the process of compiling the report,” Louw-Mjonondwane told IOL on Sunday night.

The 30-year-old winger is currently preparing with the Sea Robbers as coach Jose Riveiro looks to sharpen his boys up for the 2023-24 DStv Premiership campaign.

While the Bafana Bafana man’s troubles with the law have cast a dark shadow over the club in recent months, it has now raised even more on-field questions with the commencement of the Premiership campaign just a few days away.

The uncertainty of Lorch’s immediate availability will perhaps require the Buccaneers to reassess their options in the attacking departments, with Monnapule Saleng, Vincent Pule, and Katlego Otladisa the standout replacements on the club's squad list.

But they may also choose to investigate which other attackers are available for sale before the close of the transfer window.

Attempts to get comment from Orlando Pirates as to why they allowed Lorch to leave the country after his guilty verdict were not successful.

@ScribeSmiso

IOL Sport