South Africa keeper Quinton de Kock's level-one charge for bringing cricket into disrepute has been upheld.

De Kock fronted a hearing chaired by match referee Jeff Crowe in Port Elizabeth today, having been booked for his role in an ugly staircase scrap with David Warner during the first test.

South Africa argued de Kock was provoked, but Crowe ruled the original punishment of one demerit point and a fine should stand.

Warner accepted his level-two charge, resulting in a fine of about AU$13,500 and three demerit points.


South Africa made the extraordinary decision to appeal de Kock's penalty for making disparaging remarks about Warner's wife despite his captain's admission of players directing personal abuse at Australia.

Just days after South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis admitted his players had been guilty of dishing up personal abuse, the Proteas disputed any notion that de Kock made disparaging remarks about Warner's wife.

The appeal appeared to contradict comments du Plessis made at his post-match press conference where he admitted South Africa had crossed the line into personal abuse – only so had Australia.

"I think from both parties, from what I've heard, there was a lot of personal stuff being said," said du Plessis.

"That's obviously what made it go off the field. That's us included. If you want to go personal then it needs to stay on the field."

Aussie wicketkeeper Tim Paine said he wouldn't be paying any attention to the South African appeal.

"I'm not surprised and not bothered," he said.

"It doesn't affect the way we're going to go about this test. Davey has accepted responsibility for his part in what happened in the race the other day and whatever the South African team decide to do is up to them.

"Davey has accepted his punishment and we're ready for this next test."