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Springboks statement: Two team members sent home

By Ian Cameron
Elton Jantjies of the Lions watches on as he walks on the field before the round five Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Lions at Bankwest Stadium on February 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Springboks have sensationally sent two members of their team home to South Africa to minimise distractions for the team.

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Boks flyhalf Elton Jantjies and dietician Zeenat Simjee have both been told to pack their bags and return to the Rainbow Nation following reports of an affair between the pair in South African media.

Jantjies, who is married with three children, and Simjee have been told to return to South Africa to ‘attend to these personal reports’, although no official breach of team protocols has happened according to SA Rugby.

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Rapport in SA describes how a father and son who were staying in a B&B prior to the All Blacks match spotted [and heard] Jantjies and Simjee after they booked into the room next door to them. According to the father and son duo, the pair initially sounded as if they were getting on particularly well. It turned sour however when the two then locked horns in a heated discussion that saw staff being called to the room in the middle of the night.

The front page splash was enough for SA Rugby to act and they have now pulled the plug on the pair’s participation with the squad, for the time being at least.

“The Springbok management are aware of reports regarding Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies and team dietician Zeenat Simjee between the training camp in Sabie and the Test match against New Zealand in Mbombela earlier this year.

“No team protocols were breached, but the individuals are returning to South Africa to attend to these personal reports and to eliminate any distractions to the team’s preparations for the Test against Argentina.

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“No further comment will be made at this time.”

It’s another sorry chapter in what has already been a busy year for Jantijies off the pitch. The 32-year-old was arrested in May for allegedly causing damage to an aeroplane on a flight home from a holiday.

Jantjies was arrested at Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for an incident on flight from Dubai to Jo’burg in which it was alleged that he had damaged property of the airline that was transporting him.

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Those charges were ultimately not pursued. In June Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court heard that the case was being withdrawn on the orders of the senior state prosecutor, with no justification given publicly.

Jantjies, capped 45 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.

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