There was no resistance from the Proteas on day five of the first Test against England in Durban on Wednesday as they crashed to a 241-run defeat before lunch.
Starting the day needing 280 runs for victory with six wickets in hand, South Africa were always going to rely heavily on AB de Villiers delivering something special.
It was not to be, and the Proteas were off to the worst possible start when their main man was trapped lbw by off-spinner Moeen Ali (3/47) with just the third ball of the day without adding to his overnight score of 37.
That was a huge blow to the Proteas’ chances, and Temba Bavuma was next in to join nightwatchman Dale Steyn as any chance of saving the match began to look increasingly unlikely.
But Bavuma did not last either, and he became Ali’s second victim of the day when he walked past a straight one and was stumped by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for 0.
That left South Africa on 136/6, and at that point they had lost three wickets without scoring a run.
Steyn was next to go – just three overs later – when a Steven Finn (4/42) delivery beat the outside edge and went crashing into off stump.
Kyle Abbott then came and went – Ali claiming his third of the day when he trapped the Proteas seamer plumb in front for 2.
JP Duminy, in at No 8 and under massive pressure to perform, simply ran out of support.
Dane Piedt offered some resistance, lasting 27 balls before he inside edged a Chris Woakes delivery onto his pads and into the hands of James Taylor.
And when Morne Morkel was out LBW off Stuart Broad for 8, the Proteas were put out of their misery.
It took England just over an hour and a half to dismiss the home side for a disastrous 174.
Duminy was left not out on 26.
The selectors have a lot of thinking to do ahead of the second Test at Newlands, beginning on January 2.
The South African batting line-up is in disarray, and this time there are no Indian dust bowls to hide behind.