South Africa rugby player Elton Jantjies was charged Monday with malicious damage to property and contravening aviation laws after allegedly breaking a TV screen and swearing at fellow passengers and crew members on a flight home from a vacation in Turkey, prosecutors said.
The World Cup winner was arrested Sunday when his flight landed at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. He was released on bail the same day and appeared in court on Monday. His case was postponed until next month.
The 31-year-old Jantjies was acting in an unruly manner on the flight, prosecution spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane said. He was arrested when the plane landed after crew members complained about his behavior.
During the flight, Jantjies was ordered back to his seat in the business class area after breaking a glass that cut his hand, Mjonondwane said. He is then said to have damaged the TV and a light.
Jantjies was a member of the Springboks’ victorious Rugby World Cup squad in Japan in 2019, when he was backup flyhalf to Handré Pollard.
His agent, James Adams, said in a statement Sunday that a light was broken on the aircraft but the incident on the Emirates flight from Dubai to Johannesburg had been unnecessarily “heightened.”
“Our client, however, remains compliant with the investigation process,” Adams said.
Jantjies had been on a weeklong vacation with his family. He was flying home alone while they remained in Turkey, Adams said.