South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan has denied raping former ANC MP and singer Jennifer Ferguson in a Port Elizabeth hotel 24 years ago.
In a statement released today by his lawyer, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, Jordaan says he has taken “careful consideration” and has decided to “assert his innocence”.
The statement is the first time that Jordaan has spoken out in response to the allegation, which was made by Ferguson on her Facebook page last month.
In the statement, Mohlala-Mulaudzi explained that Jordaan’s “perceived silence” was due to his empathy with the victims of gender-based violence.
“In light of the scourge of gender-based violence in this country and Jordaan’s sensitivity toward the issue he had to consider carefully his response, if any, in public to the allegations made by Ferguson,” he says.
The rest of the statement reads:
“While Jordaan supports public debate as an essential tool to highlight the issue of gender-based violence, however, in this case there are two opposing versions that cannot be resolved in the media, or elsewhere, in substitution for a court of law.
“Mediation, as suggested by Ferguson, runs the risk that the public will perceive that there is a cover-up away from the glare of public scrutiny; and that there is one law for the powerful and another for the masses.
“We have accordingly, as his attorneys, advised Jordaan that he must not participate in a public discourse of the allegation made against him...
“From a legal viewpoint, serious allegations of the kind made by Ferguson can only be ventilated in a court of law, where the rights of all parties are protected.”
The statement does not address two other anonymous women who accused Jordaan of sexual misconduct during an interview on radio station 702 last night, when Ferguson was a guest.