The former Orlando Pirates player is accused of slapping his girlfriend, hitting her head against the wall and pushing her to the ground.
Former Orlando Pirates and Swallows player Thandani Ntshumayelo has appeared in court facing a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The midfielder, AKA ‘Bibo’, appeared at Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg on Monday after his girlfriend said he assaulted her at his home last week Friday.
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“The complaint is in a relationship with the accused and alleges that she was with him and his friends at his place when a fight between the accused and one of his friends ensued,” explained National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
“She then tried to intervene in an attempt to calm down the accused. Ntshumayelo then allegedly became aggressive towards her, by slapping her across the face, grabbed her by her head and hit it against the wall.
“She further alleges that he then pushed her to the ground.”
Ntshumayelo was released on R1 000 bail. He will be back in court on 4 April, as the case was postponed for further investigations.
The midfielder retired from professional football last year at the age of 33.
The former South African international was last on the books of DStv Premiership outfit Swallows FC at the end of the 2021-2022 season.
‘Bibo’, as he’s known in football circles, will be best remembered for his days at SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates where he made a name for himself. He was handed a four-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance in 2016, which was reduced to two years on appeal in 2018.
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Case of Déjà vu
This alleged assault comes not three months after former Orlando Pirates player (now playing for Sundowns) Thembinkosi Lorch was handed a three-year direct imprisonment sentence – suspended for five years – and a R100 000 fine after he was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Fundiswa Mathithibala.
Pirates decided to remove Lorch from the club squad until December 12. He moved to Sundowns in the recent transfer window.
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Gender-based violence (GBV) activists criticised what they felt was a lenient decision on Lorch shortly before the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign.
Reverend June Dolley-Major said she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after the sentence was handed down.
“It is an insult to the victim for a five year suspended sentence and a fine. It’s like you are in a comedy or something; the judiciary doesn’t seem to realise the effects that violence has on a person. This is unacceptable. It was far too lenient,” said Dolley-Major.
ALSO READ: ‘It’s an insult’: Gender-based violence activists on sentence handed to Thembinkosi Lorch
Additional reporting by Tshepo Ntsoelengoe and Shanice Naidoo.