Home Sport LISTEN: ‘I was followed by private investigators …’ Why Elton Jantjies went...

LISTEN: ‘I was followed by private investigators …’ Why Elton Jantjies went to rehab

LISTEN: ‘I was followed by private investigators ...’ Why Elton Jantjies went to rehab

Cape Town — Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies says he had private investigators and journalists follow him around, which was part of the reason why he decided to take a break from society and book himself into the Harmony Clinic in Hout Bay.

While he didn’t directly address his alleged affair with Springbok dietitian Zeenat Simjee, Jantjies revealed the toll that all the attention took on him and his family over the last few months in an interview with the RugbyPass Offload podcast this week.

Jantjies was not considered for the ongoing Bok tour of Europe, with coaches Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber stating that the playmaker hadn’t had enough game-time in recent months.

He had been on the books of Japanese club NTT Red Hurricanes, but their season ended around May, so there wasn’t any opportunity for Jantjies to get back onto the field, after getting few opportunities during the Bok international season as well.

But the reports of an affair with Simjee also had a negative effect, with both team members sent home from the Boks’ trip to Argentina to sort out their personal issues.

Simjee has been on tour with the world champions over the last few weeks in Ireland, France and Italy, and earlier this week, she told Beeld newspaper via her lawyer Frikkie Erasmus that the woman allegedly seen with Jantjies at a hotel in Mbombela in September was not her, but someone that looked very similar to her.

Jantjies himself said during his interview that he doesn’t want to get involved in all the media speculation, but that he was determined to become better so that he can get back into the Bok team.

“I’m not a guy who reads media and stuff. I truly respect whatever they put out there and what they say. I haven’t said a word, so that’s all what they speculate – it doesn’t come from my mouth. So, I’m just having fun, I’m just having a laugh,” the 32-year-old said.

“But I think it’s challenging when it comes to my family … when it comes to my mom and my brother, and things like that – sponsorships and my friends. They are the ones who normally look at things like that, and I could see it touches them a little bit, whenever they speak to me.

“It’s constant, this media type of thing. I just tell them ‘Don’t get involved’. For me personally, it’s just to focus on my family. I got a break, and this is the reason why I am here (with his wife and three children). And then afterwards, I’ve got to get back to rugby, and that’s the main two things.”

Jantjies added that Erasmus had assisted him in getting the help that he needed.

“I was in a facility in Cape Town for like two weeks. I had a chat with Rassie, and he told me that he’s got a spot where I can just switch off mentally, and then afterwards I can get a break with my family,” he said.

“My main thing was just to switch off from a psychological point of view. And personally as well, especially with all the media coming on. All the speculation … they keep on speculating until they probably want me to speak up. What is there to speak up? I don’t get involved in media and that stuff.

“Well, I slept well! Me and my wife have been speaking about it quite a lot. She says ‘You’re so busy, you don’t switch off. You struggle sleeping because you are always busy with rugby. You watch games the whole time, you’re training the whole time. So, when are you actually going to switch off? You take sleeping tablets every night when there are games on’.

“It was a long stretch, and I was trying to sleep and struggled to sleep. I went there (to the clinic) and they treated me for insomnia, or whatever, for two weeks. I was off sleeping tablets, and I am still off sleeping tablets – so it’s quite good.

“But that was not the main reason. The main reason was actually just to switch off from a public point of view, because I’ve been followed by people, the media … You journalists follow me, private investigators follow me.

“I had a lot of things on my plate, and that was quite scary for my wife.

“I haven’t seen my family this whole year, so me and Coach Ras had a chat, and I agree with him. So, I took the time off to spend time with my family. It’s been tough, but I had to do it instead of going on tour, because the following year is going to be a hectic year.

“Ja, (Erasmus was a) big help, massive help. He took me there and we chatted, and I said ‘Coach, I think it’s a great idea’, and he said ‘Ja, let’s do it’. From his perspective, whatever he tells me to do, I will do it – 99.9%. Hopefully a lot of the boys can say the same things, but he’s a good friend for me and a good coach as well.

“He’s very honest with me. I take his opinions in high regard.”

Jantjies is spending time with his wife Iva Ristic and their three children in Turkey at the moment. Iva told the Netwerk24 website last week that her husband had admitted to the affair with Simjee.

Iva added that she had forwarded messages to Erasmus as proof of the affair, and had wanted Simjee fired from her post.

“I think my partner gets involved and has a go at journalists – she doesn’t take crap! My friends are just ignoring their calls, and one of my friends called me yesterday and said ‘It doesn’t matter what they say: they don’t know you as a person and they don’t know who you are’,” Jantjies said.

“I told her not to get caught up in it! She speaks to journalists, in terms of giving feedback, and she’s quite good at that. But I don’t get involved.

“How I mentioned earlier, the way it looks, it looks like that (that Jantjies is being left out of the Bok team because of all the drama). But believe me, it’s nothing like that. Me and Rassie had a chat, and we are sticking to the plan for me to switch off, and then get back to club rugby (in France) and then the Springboks again.”


IOL Sport

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