'The incident has been unnecessarily heightened' - Elton Jantjies' agent says it was only a light

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Elton Jantjies
Elton Jantjies
PHOTO: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Springbok rugby player Elton Jantjies has been released after being taken into custody at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday morning.

James Adams, Jantjies' agent from In Touch Sports, confirmed his release and said the Bok flyhalf was on his way home. 

"He is okay, we have been in contact over WhatsApp with Elton and gathering all information and getting a debrief on what happened."

Adams added that Jantjies had been on holiday with his family in Turkey before his arrest. 

Adams later said it was alleged that a light had been damaged inside the plane.

He did not state whether Jantjies had damaged the light, nor went into any detail of what transpired thereafter. 

"We believe that the incident has been unnecessarily heightened," Adams added. 

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

SA Rugby confirmed on Sunday that it was aware of the arrest.

"We've been informed of Elton's arrest, but we are still in the process of gathering more information and can't say anything at this stage," said a SA Rugby spokesperson.

Asked to comment on the incident, Gauteng police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe, said that "a 31-year-old man has been arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) for malicious damage to property".

She added:

The man was arrested upon arrival at ORTIA this morning at 08:50. The suspect was on an international flight from Dubai to SA when he allegedly damaged property belonging to the airline.

It's understood that Jantjies had flown business class from Dubai to Johannesburg. He was arrested upon arrival and escorted off the plane.

It appeared from his social media feed that he and his family had travelled to Dubai last Sunday.

A fellow passenger confirmed Jantjies was arrested and escorted off the plane when they landed. 

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) referred all queries to the police.

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