AN ACT of madness by Springbok lock Bakkies Botha sees him suspended from the game of rugby for nine weeks.
Botha was found guilty by a Sanzar judicial hearing in Auckland yesterday morning after being cited for heading All Black scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan in the opening minutes of the first Test of this year's Tri-Nations against the All Blacks on Saturday.
"I sincerely regret the incident," Botha said. "I have let my team, my country and family down and I have done an injustice to the Springbok jersey and what is stands for.
"I apologise to Jimmy Cowan and the New Zealand rugby public for what happened. Rugby is a physical sport but it has to be played within the boundaries and spirit of the law."
Andy Marinos, SA Rugby Union manager of national teams, said the organisation was disappointed in Botha, who is suspended until September and will return to South Africa today.