The International Rugby Board (IRB) have issued a statement saying that the yellow card issued to Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis was issued in error.
The IRB say that following an intial review the yellow card issued to Du Plessis by referee Romain Poite in the 17th minute was incorrect.
The incident happened in the Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa in Auckland on Saturday and the All Blacks went on to win the match 29-15.
In a statement the IRB said, "Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials, who, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law. "
"All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future test matches. "
Du Plessis spent 10 minutes in the sin bin after the yellow card and came back on scored a try for South Africa.
However in the 42nd minute he was shown a second yellow card which meant that he was automatically red carded (two yellows equal one red).
The IRB statement came after South African Rugby Union deputy president Mark Alexander said†that they had asked the IRB to explain why the card was issued. .
"I think Jurie Roux (Saru CEO) has already written to the IRB with a formal request about the card and get a response from them," Alexander told IOL when the Springboks arrived back at OR Tambo International Airport.
"So we are going to inquire with the IRB what went wrong there... I mean you canít have Test matches with cards like this as it affects the game."
While the first yellow card drew the most criticism fans and commentators were divided on whether the second card was correctly issued but South Africans generally feel it was also wrong.
"Even the second yellow card is questionable if one looks at how other players also lead with the elbow," Alexander said.
"We are working hard with our technical officials to deal with the IRB around issues concerning referees. We believe our technical team is on top of things."
Du Plessis will appear at a Sanzar judicial hearing on Tuesday, which will be conducted via video conference.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said his team needed to put Saturday's drama behind them and do a post mortem to determine what they needed to improve on for the remaining two Tests.
"The result is definitely disappointing, I felt we played well against Australia and at times we played well against New Zealand," De Villiers said.
"But there were definitely certain areas that we didn't do well at and we need to improve that in the next two games.
"We do need to put that behind us and firstly we need to look at that performance and rectify those mistakes that we made."
He said it was difficult to gauge the team's performance against the All Blacks as the yellow cards affected their ability to execute their game plan.
"We are still in a positive frame of mind and we still believe that we can win the competition, so hopefully we can take some time off and come back strong," said De Villiers.
"It is tough because we didn't start well and when we thought we got back into the game then the first yellow card. Then we sort of clawed ourselves back into the game again and then Bissie was sent off."
De Villiers said the Springboks nevertheless believed they had a chance to win the match through after Du Plessis' send-off, but they made too many errors to match the New Zealanders.
"Defensively we were not good, we slipped too many tackles, we gave them too much momentum and we weren't accurate in those areas."