South Africa held off a fierce England fightback to triumph 31-28 in a thunderous test at Twickenham to make it five defeats in a row for Stuart Lancaster's side 10 months before they host the World Cup.
Two tries put South Africa 20-6 ahead a minute into the second half and though England scored two quickfire rolling maul tries to get level, Schalk Burger got the key third Springbok score and the boot of flyhalf Pat Lambie brought them home.
The victory made it 11 wins and a draw for the Boks against England, dating back to 2006, and was a hugely satisfying one following their defeat by Ireland last weekend.
Elsewhere, Wales beat a valiant 14-man Fiji 17-13 at the Millennium Stadium in a precursor to next year when the two nations meet in the pool stages of the World Cup.
In another match, Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru scored six penalties to give his team a far from convincing 18-13 victory over Romania in the first test of their European tour.