Jennifer Ferguson still looking for justice

Musician and activist Jennifer Ferguson, who says she was raped by Danny Jordaan 24-years ago, says she is consulting legal experts.
Musician and activist Jennifer Ferguson, who says she was raped by Danny Jordaan 24-years ago, says she is consulting legal experts.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Activist and musician Jennifer Ferguson has not completely shut the door on laying rape charges against South African Football Association (Safa) boss Danny Jordaan.

Ferguson made headlines last year when she said she had been raped by Jordaan at a Port Elizabeth hotel 24 years ago - a charge Jordaan has denied.

Currently visiting South Africa from Sweden where she is based, the former ANC MP said revealing her rape ordeal had lifted a burden from her shoulders.

"Telling the truth liberated me. I sort of let go of a heavy burden and felt lighter. You don't realise what shame does to you."

Ferguson faced some criticism for not taking the matter to the police, but yesterday she said things could change.

She has spent the past four months researching and consulting legal experts.

"I am still being questioned if I want to lay a charge against him or not. I am still looking at the legal options.

"I am toying around with the idea of should I lay a criminal or a civil case. The trick about the criminal case is that I would have to turn into a state witness, and a lot of information will be required.

"I have left the door wide open for restorative justice. We need to take ownership of our offence, confess, ask forgiveness, grant it and reparations."

She said she was shocked by responses, especially one by legal guru Norman Arendse during an interview on 702.

"He said he heard my child was a product of a one-night stand. He painted me as a slut that seduced Danny. This is what they do to rape victims, assassinating their characters."

Ferguson has embarked on her own catharsis, staging a series of performances called Jennifer#Wetoo.

Ferguson is set to perform at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from April 4 to 7, where she will feature Zolani Mahola and Tina Schouw.

"I will perform some of the songs that were banned during apartheid like Suburban Harm and new songs."

"Zolani and I will perform a song called Where are you Gonna Be Tomorrow. I wrote the song with the late Moses Molelekwa.

She said she got her strength to come out from the famous #MeToo campaign. She said she used the platform to reflect on her own story.

Asked what she would do if she were to meet Jordaan, she said: "I will have to take off the glasses that he is a soccer boss, and I know TRC [truth and reconciliation] is a challenge. You have a better chance of being truthful when you don't have lawyers."

Ferguson, who in 1994 married Anders Nyberg, a Swede,said #WeToo was elevating the #MeToo narrative to a collective. She said through the campaign she wanted to bring men into the conversation of sexual abuse.

"I am talking and listening at the same time when I deal with NGOs, gender-based organisations and legal experts.

"This is an incredible opportunity to come forward from a norm of harassment and patriarchy that is deeply entrenched into our culture and systems."

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