Vernon Philander took 6-21 as the Proteas thrashed Australia by 492 runs to secure a 3-1 series win.
It is South Africa’s first home series win against Australia since readmission and their first since 1970.
Australia began day five on 88-3, needing another impossible 524 runs to win, and lost their remaining seven wickets before lunch to be bowled out for 119.
Morne Morkel had removed both openers, Matt Renshaw (five) and Joe Burns (42), on Monday afternoon, while Keshav Maharaj got rid of the dangerous Usman Khawaja (seven).
Day five was the Philander show. The Proteas seamer found sumptuous seam movement as he ran through the Australia middle order. The visitors were six down for 96 runs within the first 30 minutes of play.
Philander’s first wicket saw him deliver a beautiful inswinger to Shaun Marsh (seven) whose inside edge on to his pads was caught at gully by Temba Bavuma.
He struck again two balls later by dismissing Mitchell Marsh (duck) who nudged at a delivery outside off, with Quinton de Kock taking a regulation catch behind the stumps. This was his 200th Test wicket, making him the fourth-fastest South African to achieve the feat.
Philander set another milestone with an outswinger to Peter Handscomb (24), whose attempted leave saw him drag the ball on to his stumps to seal the bowler’s 50th wicket against Australia.
Australia managed to pass the 100-run mark but not before Philander struck again. He showed his true genius by setting up Australia captain Tim Paine with three length balls in the corridor, drawing edges from each delivery before Paine edged one to De Kock.
A late in-swinger then knocked over Pat Cummins’ stumps and Chadd Sayers followed for a duck as Philander finished with a six-for.
Morkel played a part in the final wicket of his farewell Test. His delivery to Nathan Lyon saw the spinner come back for a risky second and he was run out on nine.
Apart from the first Test in Durban, the Proteas dominated Australia in every department.
From an individual perspective, four of the Proteas’ batsmen finished in the top five for runs scored – Aiden Markram (480), AB de Villiers (427) and Dean Elgar (333) formed the top three while De Kock (223) snuck in at No 5.
In the wickets department, the Proteas finished the series with three in the top five – Rabada (23), Maharaj (17) and Philander (16) taking first, third and fourth place respectively.
Rabada won Man of the Series for his 23 scalps, two five-fors and 10-wicket haul.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images