Welsh celebrations were at odds with Springbok gloom. Among the World Cup favourites when they return to these shores next year, their northern hemisphere tour was marred by an apparent serious leg injury suffered by captain and centre Jean de Villiers.
It was only a second win for Wales in 28 games against the big three of New Zealand, Australia and the Springboks, and the first over South Africa since 1999 having lost their last 16 before Saturday's triumph.
Wales had come agonsingly close to beating the Springboks in June, a late converted penalty try condemning them to a 31-30 defeat in Nelspruit.
In a dress rehearsal for a possible World Cup quarter-final meeting next year if both progress from the pool stage, Pat Lambie landed two penalties for the tired-looking Springboks who go home after suffering tour defeats against Ireland and Wales, along with victories over England and Italy.