I have empathy for Jordaan - Jennifer Ferguson on rape allegation

2018-03-26 16:50
Jennifer Ferguson (Supplied, Suzi Bernstein)

Jennifer Ferguson (Supplied, Suzi Bernstein)

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She's laid a complaint of rape against him, but former ANC MP and singer Jennifer Ferguson says she feels nothing but "empathy" towards South African Football Association boss Danny Jordaan.

She says she particularly feels "deep regret and (is) sorry for his family and how they have been impacted" by the ordeal.

READ: Rape case opened against Danny Jordaan

"It is the ricocheting and penetrative impact that this kind of thing has," she told News24 by telephone, adding that she was inspired by the story of Khwezi to follow through with her charge against Jordaan.

Khwezi - whose real name is Fezekile Kuzwayo - accused former president Jacob Zuma of raping her in 2005.

"We still have so much to do and so much to correct with Khwezi. There is an unfinished lack of closure. She is a martyr and a great motivator for me because of her sacrifices," said Ferguson.

"I want her honour to be restored. She is deserving of that."

Through trauma counselling, Ferguson said she had thought about what it would be like to come face to face with Jordaan in court. She wanted to see him as a human being, not a demon, she said.

She recognised "the woundedness in his eyes".

"When he is doing what he is doing, he is also a victim, even a victim of just our past, the way we have grown up, the man feeling disempowered."

If she did not maintain a sense of shared humanity, then "it’s hatred, and I have hurt a part of myself".

"We will emerge with wounds. It’s how it goes."

'After the storm, we rise and sing again'

In November 2017, Jordaan denied raping Ferguson in a Port Elizabeth hotel 24 years ago.

He did not answer his phone on Monday and had not yet responded to a request for comment.

When Ferguson, accompanied by two friends, went to the Parkview police station last week, she said the male officer initially didn’t want to open a case.

ALSO READ: Jordaan justifies his silence as empathy for victims of gender-based violence

She said that, like most victims, she was quizzed on not having a medical examination and why she had waited so long.

"I haven’t been ready. As simple as that," she said, adding that her friend had encouraged her to be patient and persist with opening the case.

Ferguson said there was still much work to be done to challenge toxic patriarchy, in a time when the country had lost its moral calibre and was crippled by dishonesty.

As a creative response to her recent disclosure, she would perform alongside her husband and two children in four concerts called JENNIFER #WeToo, at the Baxter Concert Hall, from April 4 to April 7.

"It’s a song-communion of a kind for all of us who have been hurt, somewhere, sometime. Men and women. So hopefully we can rise again with a matured vision of a more courageous and authentic life. After the storm, we rise and sing again… Together."

Read more on:    jennifer ferguson  |  danny jordaan  |  sexual abuse

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