South African soccer president denies raping singer in 1997

November 1, 2017

The head organizer of the 2010 World Cup has denied raping a singer and former South African ruling party lawmaker 24 years ago.

Danny Jordaan, the head of South African soccer, released a statement through his lawyer to deny the allegations made by Jennifer Ferguson, who said in a series of online posts that she was raped by Jordaan at a hotel in South Africa in 1993.

Ferguson made the claim two weeks ago, using the hashtag (hash)MeToo, an online campaign denouncing sexual assault and harassment.

In the statement, Jordaan's lawyer, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, said Jordaan denies raping Ferguson.

Jordaan was criticized in South Africa for taking so long to respond, but his lawyer said ''Dr. Jordaan's perceived silence in the face of such serious allegations is because of his empathy with the victims of gender-based violence. Dr. Jordaan has, however, after careful consideration decided to assert his innocence.''

The lawyer said Ferguson's allegations must be tested in court.

Ferguson said she didn't report the rape because she was ''too ashamed to go through the reporting procedure.'' She said she met Jordaan at a hotel where she was performing. She claimed Jordaan followed her back to her room and raped her.