Jan 18, 2018 Last Updated 7:46 AM, Jan 18, 2018


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South Africa's football boss Danny Jordaan, 66, has broken his silence to deny raping singer and ex-MP Jennifer Ferguson nearly 24 years ago.

Mr Jordaan rejected Mrs Ferguson's offer of mediation, saying the accusations must be dealt with in a court of law, his lawyer said.

Ms Ferguson alleges Mr Jordaan "overpowered" her and raped her in a hotel in Port Elizabeth city in 1994.

She said she was inspired to speak out by the #MeToo campaign on social media.

Ms Ferguson said the attack took place when she was "high and happy" following her unexpected nomination by Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) party to serve in South Africa's first democratically elected parliament in 1994.

Now living in Sweden with her husband, Ms Ferguson said she wanted prominent South African cleric Paul Verryn to broker "mediation" between her and Mr Jordaan to achieve "restorative justice".

Mr Jordaan, however, rejected mediation, as it could be perceived as a "cover-up" with "one law for the powerful and another for the masses", his lawyer, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, said in a statement, adding her client had not commented up to now because of his "empathy with victims of gender-based violence".

Mr Jordaan, she continued, was innocent, and believed that the singer's allegations could "only be ventilated in a court of law, where the rights of all parties are protected".

In response, Ms Ferguson said she was "preparing for a course of action, the nature of which I will be disclosing in the near future".

She says she has spoken to two other women with similar allegations against Mr Jordaan since first publishing her account on her blog.

Ms Ferguson alleged that Mr Jordaan came to her hotel suite after she had given a performance at a dinner.

"He overpowered me and painfully raped me. It must have been over in about 20 seconds although it felt like a lifetime," she said. "He left immediately without saying a word."

Mr Jordaan, a prominent member of the ANC and president of the South African Football Association, was widely praised for spearheading South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid. It was the first time that the football tournament was played in Africa.

In 2015, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleged that South Africa had paid a $10m (£6.5m) bribe to host the tournament. Mr Jordaan and the government strongly denied the allegation.

Mr Jordaan was mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes Port Elizabeth, until 2016, when the opposition took control of it in elections.

Ms Ferguson campaigned against military conscription during white-minority rule in South Africa.

State radio banned her songs, including Letters For Dickie, sung in the form of letters from a girl to her boyfriend who was a conscripted soldier on the border.

Russia has signed a deal to build two nuclear power plants in Nigeria, as Africa's largest economy seeks to end its energy crisis.

Russian state-owned company Rosatom will build one in the south, the other in the centre, sources at the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission told the BBC.

The deal's exact worth is unknown, although some reports suggest it is likely in the region of $20bn (£15bn).

It is one of a number that Rosatom has been eyeing on the continent.

The company is also involved in discussions in Ghana and South Africa.

An initial agreement with the latter to build a plant was ruled unlawful in a South African court earlier this year.

The deal in Nigeria was reached after a long period of negotiation, with the two countries signing their first intergovernmental nuclear co-operation agreement in 2009.

Nigeria hopes the plants, which will initially be operated by Rosatom before they are handed over, will help deal with the country's energy deficit.

According to World Bank figures, more than 40% of the country was without mains electricity in 2014.

Nigeria is one of Africa's largest oil producers, but much of its oil wealth has been squandered over the years.

Corruption at all levels has left the country out of pocket, and producing a fraction of the energy its 180 million citizens need.

Construction of the new power plants is expected to begin in the next two years.

Local air travellers continue to enjoy South African Airways flights, a month after reports that the airline was planning to abandon the Malawi route.

South African media reported that the Airline intends on cutting the number of flights on selected routes within their country, and in the Central African region.

Malawi was among the listed countries where the flights were to be cut as part of a restructuring process.

The move is expected to allow SAA to scale back their fleet from 50 aircrafts to only 40, of which they own only nine.

However, three weeks into October SAA Airliners are still plying the Malawi,  Blantyre and Lilongwe routes beyond 1st October which was mentioned as the cut off point.

And their online booking sites and flight schedules are also indicating continued operations throughout the month until December.

SAA is currently in debt which is threatening a possible liquidation if the South African Government fails to bail it out.

At least 11 people have died in KwaZulu-Natal with officials warning the death toll could climb as rescue operations resume on Thursday.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is counting the cost of the storm as mop-up operations continue.

“We are taking stock of Tuesday’s mega-storm and streamlining our joint efforts as provincial and local government to begin with clean-up operations. We wish to assure the communities that our government is on top of its game in our endeavour to minimise the impact of this storm on our residents and businesses,” acting KZN MEC of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Weziwe Thusi said.

“A total of 42 schools in KZN were gravely affected by the storm and nine of these are high schools where there are upcoming matric examinations. Plans are however underway to ensure that pupils from all affected schools will be able to sit their exams as per the set schedule and the Department of Education will be communicating directly with the learners and parents.”

The provincial government said it was working with the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and other affected councils to alleviate the impact of the mega-storm on Tuesday, to bring back normalcy to those affected.

“Many people’s lives have been interrupted by displacement, power outages and severe damage to both public and private infrastructure. In addition, KZN’s schools and hospitals have experienced serious interruptions to their operations,” the department said.

“The torrential rain has also caused enormous damage to healthcare institutions largely in the eThekwini metro, including Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, Wentworth Hospital, St Aidans Hospital, King Edward Hospital, Clairwood Hospital, and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. All affected patients have been moved to safe premises.”

The provincial government was appealing to all private sector insurance companies to expedite the processing of claims to assist clients.

Government would also assess the extent of damages to make a determination on formal declaration of disaster areas if it is deemed necessary in terms of the applicable legislation, Cogta said.

“The extent of damage to public and private infrastructure in KZN includes flooded and blocked roads, 19 collapsed buildings and perimeter walls, blocked storm water drains and sewer lines, flooded buildings and households and power outages as a result of electric cable damage. We are currently assisting all displaced communities and working on all necessary repairs,” said Thusi.

Oscar Pistorius is reportedly unhappy about the Lifetime Networks movie based on the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

During the highly publicised trial, the Blade Runner insisted he mistook his girlfriend for a robber.

Both the Steenkamp and Pistorius' families are considering legal action over the movie.

The film is set to premier in the United States on 11 November, but no date has yet been given for the local release.

Pistorius is serving a six-year prison sentence for the murder of Steenkamp. 

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