Jantjies issues statement 5 days after shock newspaper claims
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies and team dietician Zeenat Simjee have released statements addressing the allegations they are currently facing.
The two were expelled from the Springboks’ camp in Buenos Aires last weekend after there were reports that the pair had enjoyed a tryst in a guest house prior to South Africa’s Rugby Championship game with the All Blacks in Mbombela.
“I do not want to say much about the newspaper article, except that it contains many untruths and half-truths,” said Jantjies in his statement.
“For the record: The Springboks dietician Zeenat Simjee was never with me at either of the two guest houses that I stayed at. She is a good professional, and good family friend and nothing more. That her good name is now being dragged through the mud is unfair and shameful
“It is my priority to now concentrate on getting professional career back on track and wish to do so with privacy.”
In that same statement, Jantjies also offered an apology.
“I am aware that newspaper articles about my recent behaviour may have caused a lot of disappointment, distress, and anger to many people, and I apologise unreservedly,” said Jantjies. “I also want to apologise to the management and squad of my Japanese club.
“As a Springbok rugby player, I am a public figure, a role model and hero to many South Africans, and I am expected to adhere to a high standard of moral values. My intention is always to make myself, my family, and my fans proud, not only through my performances on the field of play but also through my behaviour in public.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and remain serious to do everything in my professional career to remedy the negative perception on me. I want to restore the confidence to those closest to me and win back the trust of the public.
“I am positive about rebuilding the relationships that got damaged.
“Thank you to those who kept on supporting me and my family during these difficult times, I appreciate it.”
Meanwhile, Simjee said the reports were untrue and she has asked for an apology.
“I am the subject of some extremely negative media reports over the last week, tarnishing me personally and degrading my dignity,” Simjee said in a statement.
“I appreciate the support of my fellow Springbok management team members who concurred with my choice to return home to work through this with the support of my family and relevant professionals.
“I chose to maintain a dignified silence while the media storm was raging, as I am severely traumatised by what has transpired.
“Let me unequivocally state that I am shocked at the level of sensational journalism from the newspaper that first published the article. I am devastated by the fact that a journalist and his newspaper could publish such damaging allegations on false and baseless hearsay. It is disappointing.
“As a young professional, I hold my profession in high regard. In the same light, it is an honour and privilege to represent my country and be part of the Springbok Team. As a person of values, I will not bring about disrepute to myself, my family, my profession and all the many incredible people that have been kind, positive and supportive towards me throughout this ordeal.
“The weekend ahead of the test week in Mbombela, I had been with my parents dealing with family bereavement. So, the allegations of me spending time with Elton Jantjies at a guesthouse is devoid of any truth.
“This has cast an extremely negative aspersion and disgraceful perspective on my character to which other media houses have also added their perspective. I appeal to the original publisher to retract and apologise for the negative sentiment cast on me.
“I am committed to the Springbok Team and would like to expediently get this behind me so I can continue with my professional responsibilities to the Springbok team.”
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