South Africa score first away win under new coach Igesund with own goal gift from Kenya
Teenage debutant Christopher Wekesa turned the ball into his own net after Bernard Parker had got round the home defence to set up a chance.
It came just three minutes after Kenya had equalised from a contested penalty awarded after a handball by captain Bongani Khumalo.
His opposite number Denis Oleich expertly converted for parity after a 20th minute goal for Bafana Bafana from youthful striker Tokelo Rantie.
It was the second win under new coach Gordon Igesund but a disappointing start for the much traveled Frenchman Henri Michel, taking charge of Kenya for his first international.
Now South Africa have just four matches to prepare for their hosting of the continental championship but will be well pleased with the result, following a narrow 1-0 defeat in Poland on Friday.
It was 20 minutes before Bafana opened the score but there was enough in the opening exchanges to suggest that the goal would come.
Kenya have a handful of well known players in their squad but were seemingly intent on showing their individual skills rather than playing for the team, got caught often in a packed midfield, where South Africa seemed sharper.
Siphiwe Tshabalala should have had the visitors one goal ahead after just 10 minutes as he was found unmarked at the back post at the end of a Khumalo cross but teammate Parker got in his way.
Just three minutes later, Rantie had a chance when Tshabalala’s cross was not cleared but he hit a wild shot that was typical of his time last season at Orlando Pirates when he was guilty of repeatedly missing chances.
Then with just 17 minutes gone, Kenya’s full backs were again absent allowing Lerato Chabangu a chance to covert another Tshabalala cross but he wasted from a difficult angle.
A defensive error allowed Tshabalala a chance in the 19th minute but his cross was too high for Rantie and Chabangu again wasted an effort on the right wing.
But he redeemed himself with an excellent ball through the midfield for Rantie who outpaced a static home defence to expertly score past Arnold Origi.
Kenya had few links between the midfield and attack and used little initiative on the flanks, the closest they come to a first half equaliser being a long free kick from Victor Wanyama that Bafana goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands should have caught but tipped over for safety instead.
Rantie turned quickly onto a throw in from Ricardo Nunes and cut inside the Kenya defence to shoot but it went straight at Origi.
Another South Africa chance came on a quick counter attack in the 38th minute when Chabangu's cross provided Parker with a header but it did not have enough power, and was tipped over by Origi.
With five minutes to half time there was a moment of excitement for the home fans when Oliech snuck in behind South Africa's Nunes but the pass was too strong for him to bring under control.
Kenya might have had a penalty two minutes before the break when Siyabonga Sangweni caught Kemboi with a clumsy challenge but the Tanzanian referee waved play on.
Nunes had a good chance early on in the second half but shot at goal when a pass back looked a better option.
Sandilands was tested twice by Wesley Kembo but Kenya’s best chance came after Moses Orita came on for the final 10 minutes. He shaved the ball right in front of goal with his head when a bit more power would have delivered for the Kenyans.