A timeline of what went wrong ...
4 March – On the fourth day of the first Test, AB de Villiers is run out at the non-striker’s end by David Warner and Nathan Lyon, prompting animated celebrations. Warner screams in the direction of Aiden Markram, the on-strike batsman, while Lyon drops the ball on De Villiers. Lyon is later fined and charged for conduct not in keeping with the spirit of the game.
4 March – At tea on the same day, Warner and Quinton de Kock exchange insults up the stairs to the change-rooms, which is spotted on CCTV footage. Warner is physically restrained by several teammates, with Australia later claiming that De Kock had made a deeply personal remark. South Africa maintain that personal insults were uttered on both sides. Warner is slapped with a Level 2 charge, and De Kock with a Level 1.
12 March – Kagiso Rabada clashes with Steve Smith after dismissing him on the opening day of the second Test. Rabada is later charged with a Level 2 offence for making physical contact, and adds a Level 1 charge to his rap sheet for sending off Warner in the second innings. Rabada snares 11 wickets in the match, but his conduct earns him enough demerit points to be banned for the rest of the series, and he is also fined 50 percent of his match fee. Mitchell Marsh is also handed a Level 1 charge, and fined 20 percent of his fee, for using obscene language towards Rabada.
13 March – Vernon Philander’s Twitter page suggests that Smith is to blame for Rabada’s ban, but he later states that his account was hacked.
15 March – South Africa enlist the services of Advocate Dali Mpofu to assist with Rabada’s appeal on 19 March, which is successful. Rabada is cleared to play the final two Test matches by Kiwi Michael Heron, who finds no conclusive evidence that the contact with Smith was deliberate.
23 March – Australian coach Darren Lehmann labels fan behaviour at the third Test in Cape Town as disgraceful after Warner clashes with a local supporter after being dismissed. Lehmann lays a formal complaint with Cricket South Africa.
24 March – Cameron Bancroft is caught on camera trying to alter the condition of the ball, in a sequence of events which ends with Smith and Bancroft admitting to attempting to tamper with the ball. Smith adds that the ‘leadership group’ had come up with the plan at lunch, but insist that coach Lehmann was not involved.
25 March – Australian cricket chiefs admit shock and shame at events, and launch an investigation, with their Head of Integrity flying in.
Smith and Warner agree to step down as captain and vice-captain for the remainder of the match, with Tim Paine taking over. Smith is subsequently banned for one match and fined 100 percent of his match fee.
Bancroft is fined 75 percent of his match fee, as well as earning three demerit points for his Level 2 charge.