Superb seam bowling allowed India to rip through South Africa's batting line-up and eal a 63-run consolation victory on day four of the third and final Test at the Wanderers on Saturday.
Chasing 241 for victory on a wicket with pace, bounce and prodigious lateral movement, South Africa were on top at 124 for one, but lost their last nine wickets for just 53 runs as India roared back into the contest.
Dean Elgar (86 not out) and Hashim Amla (52) had given South Africa hope with a 119-run second wicket stand.
However, South Africa lost their way following Amla's dismissal 20 minutes before tea, with four batsmen out for ducks.
The wickets were shared between the excellent Mohammed Shami (5-28), Ishant Sharma (2-31), Jasprit Bumrah (2-57) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-39).
South African claim the series 2-1 after victories in Cape Town and Pretoria.
The two teams will now play six ODIs and three T20Is in the limited-over leg of the tour, starting February 1 in Kingsmead, Durban.