NEWS
27/03/2018 09:24 BST | Updated 27/03/2018 10:28 BST

Jennifer Ferguson: 'Jordaan Has Shown No Interest In Restorative Justice'

Ferguson is currently touring South Africa, and has laid a charge against Safa boss Danny Jordaan for a rape she says happened more than 20 years ago.

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Musician and activist Jennifer Ferguson, who says she was raped by Danny Jordaan 24 years ago. March 21, 2018, Johannesburg.

Former ANC MP and singer Jennifer Ferguson says Danny Jordaan has not dealt directly with the allegations of rape she has levelled against him.

In a telephonic interview, Ferguson told HuffPost that Jordaan has hidden behind his lawyers and public relations team.

"His modus operandi in dealing with his misconduct – on many levels, not just his sexual misconduct – has been to arm himself or hide behind his lawyers; highly paid lawyers, we can add," she said.

Ferguson explained that she only laid charges against Jordaan because restorative justice did not work.

"It's a deeply sober act and a very sober step I have taken; it's like people are not taking it seriously," she said.

The singer first made the allegations in a blog entry she posted in October 2017, giving sensitive and explicit details of the incident, which allegedly happened more than two decades ago.

Despite giving the South African Football Association (Safa) boss the opportunity to resolve the matter outside court, Jordaan has shown no interest and has denied the allegations.

"My repeated attempts and offers at a restorative justice process has been contemptuously dismissed, despite the fact that our whole historical journey towards freedom in our country involved processes of restorative justice," she told HuffPost.

Once I crossed that hurdle, I felt such a sense of peace and conviction that I had done the right thing"

Ferguson says the only way restorative justice will happen is if there is "acknowledgement and ownership that an offence has been committed", which Jordaan has not done.

She says she has felt at peace since she laid the charges.

"Once I crossed that hurdle. I felt such a sense of peace and conviction that I had done the right thing. It has also been empowering for me to experience what all these victims do, who do present themselves at police stations to lay charges – the difficult journey it is," she explained.

She says there are still better ways for police to handle rape cases. In her own experience, she felt as if she was being "grilled" for waiting this long to report the case.

"Once I actually laid the charge and crossed that threshold, [I was also experiencing] the challenges when a male policeman says, 'Where is your medical certificate?' and 'How can you lay it after so many years?' and kind of grilling me in a very challenging way," Ferguson said.

She added: "These are the aspects we need to deal with in our activism; these are the kind of things we need to mobilise around."

His modus operandi has been to hide behind his highly paid lawyers"

Ferguson is in contact with three other women who were also allegedly victims of Jordaan.

"We have delicate and moving conversations amongst us, other women survivors of his assault, – it's a very delicate process, and I do not want to speak of it. We are in process and I am not alone."

Ferguson is touring South Africa, sharing her music and speaking out about sexual abuse in the country under the hashtag #WeToo.

"In this particular visit, we are coming to make music and we are coming to empower, I hope."