Botha banned for nine weeks

South African lock Bakkies Botha was on Sunday banned from rugby for nine weeks for headbutting All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan in the opening clash of this year’s Tri-Nations tournament.

The ban runs up to and including September 4, the day the Springboks play their last match in this year’s Tri-Nations, meaning Botha will take no further part in the title defence.

The 68-Test veteran was cited for striking the back of Cowan’s head in the opening minute of the All Blacks’ 32-12 win in Saturday’s Test.

The incident was apparently not seen by match officials and happened after Cowan had pulled on Botha’s jersey as he chased loose ball.

Botha admitted the charge, expressed remorse and apologised to Cowan, who was not hurt by the headbutt.


Sanzar (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia Rugby) judicial officer Dennis Wheelahan ruled the offence was in the middle range of seriousness, but he also took into account Botha’s previous record.

The Bulls lock had just returned to rugby after serving a four-match suspension for a reckless charge which kept him out of this year’s Super 14 play-offs.

He received a two-week ban for the same offence against the British and Irish Lions last year when he also missed three weeks of Super 14 play for striking.

In 2003 he was suspended for eight weeks after allegedly spitting at, biting and eye-gouging Australian hooker Brendan Cannon.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said he was not surprised at the nine-week ban given Botha’s history.

“He’s probably lucky he didn’t get more than nine weeks,” Henry said. – AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

Covid-overflow hospital in ruins as SIU investigates

A high-level probe has begun into hundreds of millions of rand spent by the Gauteng health department to refurbish a hospital that is now seven months behind schedule – and lying empty

More top stories

The politics of the Zuma-Zondo showdown

Any move made by the Zondo commission head or by former president Jacob Zuma must be calculated, because one mistake from either side could lead to a political fallout

Museveni declared winner of disputed Uganda election

Security personnel out in force as longtime president wins sixth term and main challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging.

Pay-TV inquiry probes the Multichoice monopoly

Africa’s largest subscription television operator says it is under threat amid the emerging popularity of global platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime

​No apology or comfort as another Marikana mother dies without...

Nomawethu Ma’Bhengu Sompeta, whose funeral will be held this weekend, was unequivocal in calling out the government for its response to the Marikana massacre
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…