Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada led a disciplined South African attack that decimated New Zealand batting first in the deciding one-day international in Auckland on Saturday.
New Zealand were all out for 149 in just 41.1 overs after losing the toss in a lopsided innings.
With the series level at 2-2 going into a winner-takes-all fifth and final match, New Zealand saw the cream of their batting talent gone in 16 overs when South Africa had them at four for 51.
Apart from a 45-run stand by Colin de Grandhomme (32) and Mitchell Santner (24) there was little resistance in the New Zealand innings.
When South African captain AB de Villiers won the toss he put New Zealand into bat on the theory his side have a better record batting second, but the 150-run target they faced was not challenging.
The New Zealand batsmen appeared mesmerised by the spin of Tahir who took two for 14 off his 10 overs, while Rabada took three for 25 off 7.1.
Rabada had New Zealand in early trouble when he captured the valuable wicket of Martin Guptill in the fifth over.
Guptill, who tormented the bowlers with his unbeaten 180 when New Zealand levelled the series in game four, never settled this time and had only one scoring shot, a four, in his 16-ball stay.
Kane Williamson was run out for nine chasing a single that was never on, while Dean Brownlie (24) and Ross Taylor (eight) were both lbw to Andile Phehlukwayo as New Zealand's top four batsmen were gone inside 16 overs for 51 runs.
When Santner and de Grandhomme looked to have their rescue mission on track they disregarded the need for survival and went for a quick single which resulted in Santner run out.
In the closing stages, with New Zealand desperate to prolong their innings, Jeetan Patel was the ninth wicket to fall when he walked on an lbw appeal by Tahir.
New Zealand had a review left but chose not to use it although and replays subsequently showed the ball would have missed the stumps.