Johannesburg - Ben Stokes and Mark Wood made a double strike shortly before tea as England pushed for a series-clinching victory on the fourth day of the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday.
Set to make a world record 466 to win, South Africa were 188 for four at tea, still 278 runs adrift.
Rassie van der Dussen and captain Faf du Plessis batted together for all but 13 minutes of an extended two-and-a-half hour afternoon session before Stokes bowled Du Plessis for 35 with a ball which hit a crack and kept low, deflecting off the toe of his bat into the stumps.
Van der Dussen looked set for a maiden Test century but in the next over he was caught off Mark Wood for 98.
Van der Dussen batted impressively, hitting 15 fours and two sixes in a 133-ball innings but both he and Du Plessis were given a torrid time by Wood, bowling at express pace on a pitch where the bounce was gradually becoming more unpredictable.
With tea looming, England set a field which suggested a short-pitched barrage was likely but Wood then bowled a full-length delivery which Van der Dussen drove awkwardly to short cover where Stuart Broad held a good diving catch.
It was the second wicket for Stokes - both at crucial times shortly before an interval. His first victim was opening batsman Dean Elgar, who was caught and bowled playing an awkward pull shot in the penultimate ball before lunch. Stokes had taken two for 28 at tea.
England lead the series 2-1.