The President of the South African Football Association Danny Joordaan has been accused by singer and former Member of Parliament Jennifer Kestis Ferguson of raping her 24 years ago in a Port Elizabeth hotel after a performance.
The Sweden-based accuser said she was inspired to speak out by a social media campaign hashtag #MeToo which is urging women to come forward with their allegations of sexual abuse and harassment.“…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,” she alleged in a blog post on Wednesday.
She said the 1993 incident happened after singing at a dinner for sports officials where he invited her for a drink and later joined her in her hotel suite when she wanted to change from her performance dress.
“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. I wept,” she wrote.
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.
Jennifer Kestis Ferguson later became a member of parliament like Joordan and “I would see him at many political gatherings thereafter, in the corridors of the parliament, in our caucus. He would never meet me in the eye. Slide away as fast as possible”.
She said the reason she is disclosing it now is “partly because we need to understand how hard it is to come forward and speak out … Survivors of abuse do not need to feel any shame, anymore.We are not to blame. We are not guilty of anything”.
She added that her alleged rapist used her as “an object for his sad need for power and twisted gratification. I was not a person to him. Where men in leadership positions…have all been entrusted with power, yet it is especially in these terrains that there is a concentrated and distorted culture of abuse. This needs to be changed. The abuse needs to stop!!!”
Jennifer Kestis Ferguson made it clear that she is not speaking out as a form of revenge but to help others to be courageous and begin to heal.
“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. I know there are many of us out there,” she said.
Danny Joordan has not yet responded to the allegations.