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SA Rugby statement: Elton Jantjies

By Jan De Koning
Elton Jantjies of South Africa arrives at the stadium prior to the Autumn Nations Series match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on November 20, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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The South African Rugby Union has responded to reports that World Cup-winning Springbok Elton Jantjies was arrested at OR Tambo international airport in Johannesburg on Sunday.

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According to media reports, the 31-year-old was handcuffed on his arrival in Johannesburg from Dubai on Sunday.

“We’ve been informed of Elton’s arrest,” a SARU spokesperson told @rugby365com.

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“However, we are still in the process of gathering more information and can’t say anything at this stage,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile Jantjies’ agent, James Adams, confirmed that the player was released and is not in police custody.

“It is alleged that while onboard, a light was damaged,” Adams said in a statement.

“We believe the incident has been unnecessarily heightened.

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“Our client, however, remains compliant with the investigation process and will address this matter with the seriousness it beckons.

“We would like to allow the legal authorities to attend to this without any undue influence and ask that the public and the press respect the legal process without casting judgement and also request that our client’s right to privacy be respected.”

Media outlet News24 quoted police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe as saying that “a 31-year-old man has been arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport for malicious damage to property”.

“The man was arrested upon arrival at ORTIA this [Sunday] morning at 08.50.

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“The suspect was on an international flight from Dubai to SA when he allegedly damaged property belonging to the airline.”

Jantjies, who had been in South Africa over the past few months recovering from shoulder surgery, posted pictures on his social media channels of him and his family in Dubai.

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Jantjies, capped 44 times by the Boks, was a member of the victorious Bok squads at the 2019 World Cup and against the 2021 British and Irish Lions.

He also attended the Springbok alignment camp in Durban in April.

Jantjies made his debut against Australia at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, in 2012 and featured as a replacement against England at Twickenham, London, in November last year.

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