New Zealand Rugby, though, says South Africa's been plotting the move for some time.
The South African board has voted to pull its four remaining teams from Super Rugby and explore joining an expanded PRO 14 tournament in Europe.
It's a decision which hasn't come as a surprise to most.
What is raising some eyebrows, however, is where they're laying the blame.
Chief executive Jourie Roux said their hand has been forced by New Zealand Rugby choosing to proceed with a domestic or trans-Tasman competition.