Former ANC MP and singer Jennifer Ferguson has accused South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan of raping her 24 years ago.
Ferguson, communicating via her Facebook feed on Tuesday, apologised for not being able to report the rape earlier, adding that she was probably not the only woman who had been abused by Jordaan.
“I apologise from my heart to any woman or young girl that may have suffered abuse by this man (Jordaan) as a result of my colluding in the conspiracy of silence,” said Ferguson this week.
The disclosure, which has caught many South Africans off guard, was prompted by the #MeToo campaign. Ferguson explained that she could not remain silent, while women around the world had shared their experiences of sexual harassment using the hashtag.
She said this was not an attempt to punish Jordaan, who has been shrouded in controversy during his tenure at the helm of SAFA.
“It is not my intention to ‘punish’ the perpetrator but to bring to light of truth that which has been hidden through years of shame,” added Ferguson.
“I have been a fearless activist in the political sphere. Worked with child abuse for many years. 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,” added Ferguson.
Since the allegations first came to light, there has been total silence from the South African Football Association and from Jordaan himself.
Describing the incident itself, Ferguson said: “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.”
“Bewildered. 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?”