Recalled flyhalf Naas Olivier steered the Cheetahs to a 20-13 victory over the Canterbury Crusaders in a Super 14 match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Olivier scored 10 points from two penalties and two conversions in his first Super rugby game in over two years.
He also produced an outrageous flip pass to fullback Hennie Daniller, who score the decisive try in the 75th minute to seal a rare victory for the South African team. The result dented the Crusaders's hopes of reaching the semi-finals with only three rounds remaining.
The New Zealand side's four-match winning streak was ended in the most unexpected fashion against a side that, before this match, had only claimed one win in the 2009 tournament.
The Crusaders were reduced to kicking over an injury time penalty through replacement fullback Leon MacDonald to ensure they earned a bonus point for losing by seven points or less.
The extra point moved the defending champions to 27 points in the standings and up to eighth. The Cheetahs remained bottom on 11 points, still seven behind the 13th placed Reds.
CHEETAHS 20 (Hennie Daniller, Jongi Nokwe tries Naas Olivier 2 cons 2 pens) bt CRUSADERS 13 (Kahn Fotuali'i try Stephen Brett con Brett, Leon MacDonald pens) at Vodacom Park. Referee: James Leckie (AUS).