There was naturally a wide and dramatic reaction to the news that Freckles half a fly Elton Jantjis and team nutritionist Zeenat Simji were sent home from Argentina following reports of an alleged affair.
Yantiesa’s wife Iwa, who is currently in Japan, spoke with him Network 24 on Tuesday about the allegations, and called on Bok management to do a better job of monitoring how staff behave and that boundaries are respected.
“I was shocked, I’m still shocked, I thought she was a family friend,” Giangies’ wife commented. “Elton denies everything … I have reservations, but all we can do is wait and see.”
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The Springboks are currently preparing for their Rugby Championship match against Argentina, but have been banned from any questions relating to Jantjies during press conferences this week.
“I’ve said before that any national team faces a lot of pressure,” said Bok coach Jacques Ninaber. “There are two types. One is external pressure. Can we control it? No. There is an internal pressure where we hold each other to certain standards. It’s about expectations. These are pressures we can control.
“Internal pressure is what we focus on. External pressure, whether it’s injury or even speculation, is something we have to shrug off because we can’t control it. It is useless to waste energy on this. We can’t change that. It is what it is.’
A flurry of comments and reactions on social media naturally followed the story, with former Springbok Rob Lue posting an insensitive comment on Twitter that read: “I don’t understand the Springboks selectors now when Elton scores he gets sent home” with a post followed by a laughing emoji.
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South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, who was named in the report, has now reacted strongly.
“Rob, you tagged me, so I guess you need an answer. Obviously I’ve been guilty of commenting/making fun of stuff like this in the past! When I see the suffering and harm to the innocent children and parents involved, I tend to think twice before commenting (just out of respect for the families).”
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According to an article in the Sunday newspaper ReportJantjies and Simji were involved in an alleged meeting at a bed and breakfast hotel a week before the Test against the All Blacks in Nelspruit in August.
It casts a heavy shadow over any potential return of Giangies to the Springboks, with plenty of reaction on social media suggesting the 32-year-old should not return to the team after this latest indiscretion.
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However, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander suggested they still needed to get all the facts straight before deciding whether to take further action, while he also questioned the anonymous sources who disclosed the information Report.
“We have very strict team rules and the management team will deal with this issue,” Alexander said. “I don’t want to dig into anyone’s personal life because all the information right now is hearsay. This is just gossip so far.
“If people are so serious about what happened, they should talk about what they know,” Alexander added.
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Late Sunday night, Jantjies made an interesting social media post on Instagram, sharing an image to his story that read: “I prefer to distance myself whenever I’m angry to calm my mind, otherwise I’ll be the most heartless person you’ll ever meet.”
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Jantjies has over 110,000 followers on Instagram and his bio reads: “An athlete of loyalty, respect and honor.”
Jantjies has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year
This latest shocking story comes just months after Jantjis was detained at O.R. International Airport. Tambo for the highly publicized incident on board the flight back to South Africa.
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At the time, the Springboks said Jantjies should be considered “innocent until proven guilty”, but that was never a good look as he remained part of the squad.
The Springboks released a statement on Sunday in response to the latest report, but suggested “no team protocol was breached”.
“The Springbok management is aware of the reports regarding Springbok fly-half Elton Jantjis and team nutritionist Zeenat Simjee between the training camp in Sabi and the Test match against New Zealand in Mbombela earlier this year.
“No team protocols have been breached but people are going back to South Africa to review these personal reports and remove any distractions from the team’s preparations for the match against Argentina. There will be no further comment at this time.”