Cape Town – The Proteas have smashed Australia by 322 runs in the third Test at Newlands, confirming this as one of Australian cricket’s darkest moments.
It is the biggest win, in terms of runs, that South Africa have ever recorded over their fiercest rivals since readmission and they now take a 2-1 lead into the final Test in Johannesburg.
The visitors lost all 10 wickets in the final session of day four, having gone into tea at 47/0 before crumbling to 107 all out.
Morne Morkel (5/23) was unstoppable for the Proteas in Australia's second innings.
A period that saw them go from 57/0 to 59/4 extinguished any hope on a day that Australia saw their captain reduced to the lowest point of his career.
At the start of the day, Cricket Australia announced that Steve Smith had stepped down as captain for the remainder of the Test match while, later in the day, the ICC suspended him for the fourth Test in Johannesburg.
Smith was punished for his admission on Saturday that he had been key in the decision to orchestrate a tactic to tamper with the ball to aid reverse swing.
Cameron Bancroft, the man who actually did the ball tampering, was given three demerit points by the ICC and will be available for Johannesburg.
Both Bancroft (26) and Smith (7) were 'booed' by the Newlands crowd after being dismissed.
Thanks to fifties from AB de Villiers (63), Quinton de Kock (65) and Vernon Philander (52*), the Proteas were able to set the Aussies 430 for victory after being all out for 373 in their second innings.
The Newlands crowd, labelled "disgraceful" by Australian coach Darren Lehmann two days ago, were expected to get stuck into Bancroft and David Warner when the pair walked out to the middle to open the Australian innings.
That didn't happen, and Warner and Bancroft got the visitors off to solid start.
Kagiso Rabada (1/31) was fired up, but he couldn't get the breakthrough as the Australians got to 50 unscathed.
It took a moment of magic in the field from South African captain Faf du Plessis to get the ball rolling for the hosts.
Warner had called for the single off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj, and Du Plessis picked up and released off balance to get Bancroft run out with a direct hit.
This time, the Newlands crowd got stuck in as they booed the 25-year-old off the field.
That was the beginning of the Australian rot.
Rabada then removed Warner (32) for the fourth time in the series when the Aussie left-hander guided him to De Villiers at third slip, who took an impressive catch low and to his left.
In the very next over, Maharaj (2/32) made his play by taking two wickets in as many balls.
First to go was Usman Khwaja (1), who edged to De Villers at slip, while Shaun Marsh (0) was out first ball when he was well taken by Aiden Markram at short leg after an inside edge onto his pad.
At 59/4, the Australians were buried.
Morkel then replaced Rabada and didn't take long to make an impact.
The hero of the first innings when he took 4/87 to become the fifth South African to get to 300 Test wickets, Morkel struck in the first over of his second spell when he had Smith sharply caught by Dean Elgar at gully.
The disgraced Australian leader was given a harsh send-off by the crowd, but the match situation would have hurt even more.
Morkel, like Maharaj, then found himself on a hat-trick when he had Mitchell Marsh (16) and Pat Cummins (0) out in successive deliveries.
Both were short balls, and though he didn’t get his hat-trick, Morkel stopped play when he smashed Mitchell Starc in the helmet.
Morkel eventually had his man as Starc (7) looped one to Markram at short leg.
Temba Bavuma then got his name on the scoreboard, running out Nathan Lyon (0) in what has now become familiar fashion.
When Josh Hazlewood was out caught by Vernon Philander for 5 off Morkel, the lanky South African had nine for 110 for the match and the curtain had finally come down on one of the worst Test matches Australian cricket has ever seen.