Australian Test vice-captain David Warner's stunning teatime rampage in Durban was sparked by an alleged comment about his wife Candice from South African rival Quinton de Kock.

Relations between the Australian and South African teams have become incredibly strained once again.

It comes after dramatic footage emerged on Monday of Warner being restrained by teammates in an off-field confrontation with de Kock during the first Test.

The CCTV video, published by South African outlet Independent Media, shows a fired-up Warner remonstrating with de Kock as the teams walked upstairs to the change rooms during Sunday's tea break.

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Warner is physically held back by Usman Khawaja then shepherded into Australia's rooms by skipper Steve Smith.

Smith's counterpart Faf du Plessis emerges from the hosts' rooms, having words with Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine.

Warner's rage was ignited by comments made by de Kock while players were walking off the field. Warner's wife Candice Warner is currently in Durban.

"It's rather unfortunate that the incident took place and certainly not in the spirit of the game," South Africa's team manager Mohammed Moosajee said in a statement.

"The match referee had spoken to us after the day's play. We will await any further communication from the ICC around this incident."

International Cricket Council laws dictate players can be charged for conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.

That occurred in 2014 following an off-field altercation between England veteran Jimmy Anderson and India's Ravindra Jadeja that was captured by cameras.

Charges against both players were later dismissed after a three-week saga, with the two cricket boards swapping barbs in what became a messy bust-up.

Match referee Jeff Crowe has plenty to sift through regarding the series opener in Durban.

Warner gave a frenzied serve to Aiden Markram and AB de Villiers, having run the latter out for a duck during the morning session on day four.

Nathan Lyon, who dislodged the bails, has also come under scrutiny for dropping the ball right beside a prone de Villiers.

South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada's send-off of Warner on day three will also be looked at by Crowe.

The teatime incident will raise further questions about Warner's conduct.

He has been somewhat of a cleanskin since being appointed vice-captain following the 2015 Ashes, but Cricket Australia (CA) heavies are unlikely to be very pleased with the latest episode.

Warner's most infamous misdeed is his bar-room scrap with Joe Root in 2013, while he was also put on notice by CA boss James Sutherland after a heated run- in with Rohit Sharma on the MCG in 2015.

Smith's side are likely to be furious about the CCTV footage being leaked.

Australia have already had one issue with the hosts' hospitality.

The tourists asked, prior to the start of the four-Test series, for stump microphones to be turned down between balls.

That request was ignored until mid-match, when the host broadcaster altered the levels slightly after Tim Paine and other Australians spruiked their team's sponsors on day two.

- AAP