Write what you want, Jor­daan says of rape claim

An­gry soc­cer boss hits out af­ter for­mer ANC MP Fer­gu­son’s ex­plo­sive rape claim

Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By NIVASHNI NAIR and BAFANA NZ­I­MANDE

Soc­cer boss Danny Jor­daan says he will re­spond to al­le­ga­tions that he raped singer and for­mer ANC MP Jen­nifer Fer­gu­son in a Port El­iz­a­beth ho­tel room 24 years ago — but not yet.

Jor­daan was outed on Face­book this week by 56-year-old Fer­gu­son, who told the Sun­day Times she had con­sid­ered con­tact­ing Jor­daan be­fore go­ing pub­lic, but could not find his num­ber.

Ap­proached for com­ment at a South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion event yes­ter­day, Jor­daan said: “No, no. I’m not speak­ing about this mat­ter. Times Me­dia [now Tiso Black­star], you have taken your po­si­tion. Good luck,” he said.

“Go on and write what­ever you want. Times Me­dia has been do­ing it all along but I will re­spond‚” he said.

The re­porter was then thrown out of the venue.

Soc­cer boss Danny Jor­daan says he will re­spond to al­le­ga­tions that he raped singer Jen­nifer Fer­gu­son in a Port El­iz­a­beth ho­tel room 24 years ago — but not yet.

The ad­min­is­tra­tor was ac­cused on Face­book this week by Fer­gu­son, who told the Sun­day Times she had con­sid­ered con­tact­ing the al­leged at­tacker be­fore go­ing pub­lic, but could not find his num­ber.

Ap­proached for com­ment at a South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion event yes­ter­day, Jor­daan said he was aware of the al­le­ga­tions and would re­spond down the line.

“No, no. I’m not speak­ing about this mat­ter. Times Me­dia [the for­mer name of the Sun­day Times’s par­ent com­pany, Tiso Black­star], you have taken your po­si­tion. Good luck,” he said.

“Go on and write what­ever you want. Times Me­dia has been do­ing it all along but I will re­spond‚” Jor­daan said when asked whether he was aware of the sex­ual as­sault claims and when he would re­spond.

The re­porter was then ejected from the venue and told in­ter­views could be ar­ranged with Safa spokesman Do­minic Chimhavi.

Chimhavi did not re­ply to re­quests for com­ment this week.

While Fer­gu­son, 56, says she does not re­gret her pub­lic state­ment, she is adamant she doesn’t want Jor­daan to face crim­i­nal charges. In­stead, she wants a pub­lic apol­ogy from him be­cause she be­lieves he is “suf­fer­ing from sex­ual sick­nesses”.

“I ac­tu­ally looked for his con­tact de­tails. It didn’t come up. I don’t know if I would have called him if I did find the num­ber,” Fer­gu­son said from her home in Swe­den.

Her claims of rape came as one of thou­sands of mes­sages posted on so­cial me­dia plat­forms af­ter US ac­tress Alyssa Mi­lano asked fol­low­ers to re­spond with the #MeToo hash­tag if they — like the vic­tims of preda­tory Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein — had been sex­u­ally ha­rassed.

In re­sponse, hun­dreds of South African women re­vealed on­line that they had been sex­u­ally as­saulted. But #MeToo did not cap­ture the coun­try’s at­ten­tion in the way that #MenAreTrash did in the wake of the mur­der of Karabo Mokoena in April — un­til Fer­gu­son’s Face­book post and sub­se­quent blog about her at­tack.

Me­dia mon­i­tor­ing firm ROi Africa MD Tonya Khoury said that #MeToo had grown big­ger than #MenAreTrash due to the hash­tag of Fer­gu­son’s al­leged at­tacker’s name ac­com­pa­ny­ing it.

Fer­gu­son’s Face­book post on Wed­nes­day — which she refers to as a con­fronta­tional stand nec­es­sary to re­store honour in gov­ern­ment and lead­er­ship — fea­tured a pic­ture of Jor­daan. It was cap­tioned: “Dis­clo­sure af­ter 24 years. I was prob­a­bly not the only woman raped by this man.”

Fer­gu­son’s blog post, “#metoo one night in PE”, de­tails the al­leged rape at a Hol­i­day Inn in Port El­iz­a­beth in 1994. She claims the or­deal was over in about 20 sec­onds but felt like a life­time.

Fer­gu­son did not pur­sue a crim­i­nal charge at the time, nor did she con­front Jor­daan later.

“What would be more than suf­fi­cient for me . . . is if [he] could come for­ward and re­lease a pub­lic state­ment of own­er­ship and also that he could speak on be­half of many men who are suf­fer­ing from sex­ual sick­nesses, this dis­torted sex­ual be­hav­iour.

“I am in­ter­ested in how we can re­ha­bil­i­tate and how we can rec­on­cile in a way that is heal­ing to all those in­volved. He has a fam­ily and a wife and chil­dren. As much as it has had great emo­tional im­pact in my fam­ily, I am sure his fam­ily must have dealt with the same thing,” she said.

Onus shouldn’t be on women

Anne Githuku-Shongwe, the South Africabased rep­re­sen­ta­tive of UN Women, said it was clear from re­cent in­ci­dents in­volv­ing pub­lic fig­ures that pa­tri­archy and in­ti­matepart­ner vi­o­lence were in ev­ery part of so­ci­ety.

“The soul of this coun­try and the soul of men in this coun­try need to be dealt with if we are go­ing to find a last­ing re­sponse to this,” she said.

While the #MeToo cam­paign had an im­pact, Sonke Gen­der Jus­tice said this was not enough to sus­tain mean­ing­ful change.

“We need to chal­lenge pa­tri­archy, harm­ful mas­culin­i­ties, gen­der norms, at­ti­tudes, be­liefs and stereo­types in our ev­ery­day lives — and more than any­thing, we need men to do this,” said Sonke pol­icy devel­op­ment and ad­vo­cacy co-or­di­na­tor Marike Keller.

Danny Jor­daan

— pho­tographed in 1994 in front of par­lia­ment in Cape Town.

For­mer ANC MP, singer and song­writer Jen­nifer Fer­gu­son — who now lives in Swe­den

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.