October 20 – Danny Jordaan, the public face of the 2010 South Africa World Cup and head of his national association, has sensationally been accused of rape by a well-known singer and one-time parliamentarian.
The offense is alleged to have taken place some 24 years ago according to Jennifer Ferguson, former African National Congress member who claims Jordaan “overpowered” her and “painfully” raped her in a hotel in Port Elizabeth.
Jordaan, 66, has not yet responded to the allegations by Ferguson who now lives in Sweden and claims she had been moved by the growing #MeToo campaign on social media to speak out even though, according to the Daily Maverick publication, she “wrestled” with the question of whether to name Jordaan.
In a Facebook post and subsequent blog, Ferguson claimed the attack took place following her unexpected nomination by the ANC to serve in South Africa’s first democratically elected parliament in 1994. She claims Jordaan came to her hotel suite after she had performed a concert at a sports dinner.
“I accepted his invitation to join him for a drink at the bar, but said I needed to go up to my suite and change from my performance dress,” Ferguson wrote. “He joined me in the lift and said he would wait for me. I felt a little uneasy as he entered my suite, but beckoned him into the lounge and asked him to wait there while I changed.”
“I entered my bedroom, closed the door and began to change. A few minutes later the door opened and he entered and without a word grabbed me and forced me onto the bed from behind. He overpowered me and painfully raped me. It must have been over in about 20 seconds although it felt like a lifetime. He left immediately without saying a word.”
In a blog that has been widely reported across South Africa and beyond, Ferguson, 56, accused Jordaan of using her as “an object for his sad need for power and twisted gratification.”
“Not sure what to do, I washed and left the hotel and began to walk. I reached the beach and sat there a very long time trying to process what had happened. The thought of going to the police felt intolerable. What would I say? Should I have screamed louder? Fought him off harder? Had I been complicit in some way? All these questions raged in my mind.”
Jordaan and Ferguson apparently went on to become parliamentary colleagues. “He would never meet me in the eye,” claims Ferguson who says she has never publicly spoken about the alleged incident until now.
“I am not speaking out to get revenge on Danny Jordaan or a million South African men like him. I am doing this so we can help each other be courageous, speak out and begin to heal as we find we are not alone.”
Ferguson campaigned against military conscription during white-minority rule in South Africa when state radio banned her songs.
In her Facebook post, she said she was “deeply sorry” at not having reported the alleged incident earlier. “I apologise from my heart to any woman or young girl that may have suffered abuse by this man as a result of my colluding in the conspiracy of silence”.
“I have been gifted with so much in my life yet I have been ashamed into silence by what happened. I did not have the inner resources to take this into the legal or even public sphere before. I was personally intimidated. What of the many women, children, people who do not have any means to deal with rape??”
Ferguson says she does not want a criminal case to be opened against Jordaan, who became one of the most familiar figures in football administration when he organised the World Cup. “Part of healing is coming forward with the truth,” she said.
Neither Jordaan nor the South African FA have yet responded to the bombshell allegations. Earlier this year Jordaan won a place on the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee but only after pulling out of the race to join FIFA’s all-powerful ruling Council amid speculation that he was being investigated as part of the US-led probe into corruption that has so far led to more than 40 individuals and entities being indicted on bribery and fraud charges.
As yet unresolved is the $10 million payment made by the South African FA that ended up in the hands of notorious former FIFA powerbroker and CONCACAF boss Jack Warner, a sum FIFA says was a bribe but which South African authorities have always countered was completely above board.
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