JOHANNESBURG – Danny Jordaan is on his way out.
So says the PSL’s general manager and referee Ace Ncobo. The date of his expulsion from Safa, according to Ncobo, is set for May 31 - and yet it should have been sooner.
The opinion above is not based on the merits of Jordaan’s stay at Safa House or his successes and failures while in the office of the president of that organisation. These administrative blunders, triumphs, scandals and accusations of maladministration are the continued chief concerns of Ncobo, as reported yesterday in the Citizen, who wishes to see Jordaan vacate that position.
No, the opinion above is based on more grave concerns, those that relate to the socio-cultural and social-political realities of living in this country.
It is well documented that Jordaan is under the spotlight for the alleged rape of Jennifer Ferguson some 20 years ago.
It has been close to a month since Safa declared their support for their president regarding that accusation. Their asseveration insisted “that every person, with no exception, is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law”. It was the reason given for Jordaan’s ongoing occupation of the main office at Safa.
This, of course, is true. It is a right afforded to every citizen of South Africa, including Jordaan.
Complications arise, however, when one considers the public space that the president of Safa occupies within the consciousness of South Africa, further compounded here by the political career and aspirations of Jordaan. The actions of his station are under constant scrutiny, the decisions made by him in that position, in the sphere of public interest.
As such, Jordaan occupies a standing amongst his peers and those who look up to him, where moral and ethical transparency is expected as he exercises the power of his private organisation within the public domain. For him, or any other person who enjoys such status, to continue in said position while faced with such an affront, is an insult to the nation and the reality in which our women live every day.
The actuality of rape in this country is staggering in its brutality.
According to the Huffington Post, in an article released last year, 116 rapes occur every day, while four women are murdered on a daily basis. Last year there were 39 928 rape cases reported, the larger picture revealing that 53.8 individuals per 100 000 in South Africa have been raped or sexually abused.
Perhaps the most horrifying statistic is, according to a 2010 study by the Gauteng Gender Based Violence Indicators Project, only four percent of women that have been raped, reported the incident to the police, while another set of data from the same study found that between 15 and 37 percent of men admit to committing rape.
To say that rape is a plague in this country, is an understatement. It is an abhorrent aberration that scars, tears, blights, disfigures, destroys and shatters the very fabric of our social cohesion.
Jordaan and Safa cannot shield themselves from such ghastly truths, despite the former’s protestations in lawyer statements that the docket relating to the case has been lost and that “Ms Ferguson’s allegations are absolutely unfounded and untrue and that her true motives are deeply suspect”.
The latter has a similar irrationality - even though they recently tried to hide behind self-affirming, un-ironic ejaculations concerning their gender equality and continued development of women’s football in SA - which, we can all agree is their mandate to perform.
Jordaan should step down until this entire mess is sorted - the case study of former President Jacob Zuma attest that individuals can survive such difficulties politically - and Safa should insists on a horizontal move while the case is ongoing.
Their continued support brings their own organisation into disrepute and confirms an ugly stance that disassociates itself from the current situation in the country.
Ngobo is right to push for Jordaan’s replacement, even if it is for the wrong, selfish reasons. To not remove him, even if he is found innocent, is a disservice to the men, women and children who are victims of rape.