Jennifer Ferguson reveals who paid for her trip to South Africa

2018-05-04 13:15
Jennifer Ferguson. Picture: Annika Björndotter

Jennifer Ferguson. Picture: Annika Björndotter

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Singer and former ANC MP, Jennifer Ferguson, has revealed who paid for her flight to South Africa when she laid a rape charge against SAFA president Danny Jordaan.

The invoice and itinerary seen by News24 reveal that instead of it being in any way linked to PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza, payment for the flights on Qatar Airways was done through a local dance NGO, The Forgotten Angle Theatre Company (FATC).

In a statement, Ferguson said that FATC booked and paid for the tickets through Big Travel, a travel agency based in Uppsala, Sweden.

In March, Ferguson filed a rape complaint against Jordaan with police in Parkview, Johannesburg. She accused the SAFA president of raping her in a Port Elizabeth hotel 25 years ago.

READ: The dodgy 'email' at the centre of Danny Jordaan's case against the Iron Duke

Ferguson currently lives in Sweden.

This week The Sunday Times reported that Jordaan, who maintains that he is innocent, had opened a case of defamation, criminal collusion and conspiracy against Khoza and Ferguson.

The report said the case was opened because Jordaan believed Khoza had paid for Ferguson's flights and accommodation through a third party. Jordaan refused to give details.

News24 revealed yesterday that a set of potentially dubious emails and invoices between a travel agent and Khoza were believed to be at the centre of the criminal complaints opened against him and Ferguson by Jordaan.

Yesterday, a furious Khoza denied that he had anything to do with Ferguson.

"As I said in my statement, I will not lapse in my pursuit of this matter," Khoza told News24. 

Jordaan's attorney Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi said they had no comment on the statement made by Khoza and that the investigation was now in the hands of the police. 

A PDF document titled "Invoices and Credit card auth" purportedly shows an email exchange between travel agency Fli-Afrika and Khoza on April 8 this year. When the document's authenticity was checked by News24, numerous discrepancies were found.

This "leaked" PDF supplied to News24 implicated Khoza as the donor for Ferguson's trip.

But this PDF did not show the actual invoices allegedly paid for by Khoza, and only indicated that the invoices were attached to an email.

News24 was told that the attachments could not be provided to us due to technical issues, which appear to be a bogus excuse. This was in addition to several other worrying discrepancies in the documents we were provided.

News24 conducted a similar analysis on the invoice and itinerary documents provided by Ferguson, and concluded that the invoice provided by Ferguson was generated using automated invoice generation software.

This makes it much harder to edit the document after the fact, as opposed to the earlier PDF which was created using Microsoft Word.

It was also telling that the invoice provided by Ferguson was created on February 7 2018, several weeks before Ferguson's trip on March 18 2018.

This can be contrasted against the initial leaked document which attempted to show that Khoza only paid for Ferguson's trip after she had already been to SA.

A similar analysis of a flight itinerary provided by Ferguson shows it was generated on February 6 2018. The software used to generate the itinerary contained several special characters consistent with the Swedish language. This is to be expected though: The travel agency used to book Ferguson's tickets is based in Sweden.

In short, the invoice and itinerary provided by Ferguson is significantly more credible than the documents leaked to the media last week.

In her statement Ferguson said she returned to South Africa on March 19 this year, at the invitation of the Baxter Theatre and FATC.

She had been invited to perform in a series of concerts, namely the opening of the Mpumalanga My Body My Space Festival of Dance and the JENNIFER#wetoo Baxter Concerts. 

This was also part of the #wetoo Campaign inception phase which aims to focus on sexual violence and conversations of healing in SA she said. 

The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative had partnered in the JENNIFER#wetoo Concerts and the #wetoo Campaign, along with the Baxter Theatre. 

Ferguson said they had provided project management, facilitated fundraising, donations, invoicing and payments and that all budgetary controls and payments were done through them. 

"Many people and organisations have helped and are still helping in various ways with the recent concerts and with future projects, especially the #wetoo Campaign. This is being done in the spirit of social justice activism as well as basic human generosity," she said.

Ferguson said that while she was still waiting for communication on the actual charges Jordaan had made against her she felt obliged to provide her travel information. 

In the statement, she went into further detail on who made the payments for the trip and concerts:

  • The Baxter Theatre provided rental free space and staff.
  • The Raith Foundation provided core emergency funding covering basic costs including air travel, choir transport, catering, posters etc.
  • Sound sponsored by Eastern Acoustics with the sound engineer working for free.
  • A car provided by the Baxter Theatre. 
  • All musicians and guest artists including Ferguson worked for an honorarium of R5 000 in total with R2 000 for rehearsals.
  • Many other people, such as the choir, the runner, a photographer, the Stage Manager etc all contributed their services.

Ferguson also said that two close friends provided accommodation in Johannesburg and Cape Town and that the anonymous donors are close personal friends of over 25 years who sponsored the #wetoo Campaign and the JENNIFER#wetoo concerts. 

"Both are highly respected professionals in their respective fields of social justice-activism and philanthropic work and have always kept their donations anonymous. Both are prepared to provide affidavits if necessary," she said.  

Ferguson said that she made a personal and painful decision to disclose the alleged rape that happened 25 years ago in Port Elizabeth. 

"This freedom to truth-speak after too many years of silence and shame, came on the wings of the #metoo movement, where millions of women globally shared their stories of sexual violation," Ferguson said. 

She said she made an offer for a restorative justice mediation process to Jordaan, which he refused. 

"After six months of intensive personal reflection, post-trauma counselling and consultation with a broad spectrum of experts in various fields including the legal, sexual violence NGOs etc, she opened a charge of rape the day after she returned to South Africa," the statement said. 

Ferguson said she had consistently communicated the difficulty of this decision to pursue the legal route as well as empathy for the family of Jordaan. 

In a press release by The Baxter Theatre at the time of the performances Ferguson said the concerts were a creative response to the disclosure of her rape. 

"I want to go beyond the personal #metoo to a universal #wetoo,” she said.

"Jennifer could be you or me. My story is just one of tens of thousands. We need to look at other ways of dealing with the culture of sexual violence and admit the current judicial system is failing too many of us."

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Read more on:    safa  |  danny jordaan  |  jennifer ferguson  |  crime

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