Bafana Bafana let their half-time lead slip, allowing Mali to score a second half equaliser as the teams drew their African Nations Championship group A clash 1-1 in Cape Town
Parker had sent South Africa ahead through his 25th minute spot-kick, but a spirited Mali outfit fought back to grab the equaliser 10 minutes after half-time, as the teams shared the points, keeping Bafana top of group with four points.
The opening 10 minutes passed without incident, save for a penalty shout from Mali that was turned down by referee Souley Mohamadou, but replays showed goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune appeared to have brought down a Mali attacker and was slightly fortunate not to be penalised by the Cameroonian official.
Shortly after, though, Lassana Diarra flashed his effort narrowly wide of Itumeleng Khune's upright, before Siphiwe Tshabalala's delicate effort went agonisingly wide of the mark.
The hosts found their rhythm and soon were paying regular visits into the opposition half, as Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and Hlompho Kekana came close.
The decisive moment came on 23 minutes, when new addition to the team, Lindokuhle Mbatha, who made his international debut for Bafana against Mozambique four days prior, made a powerful run into the area and was brought down on the edge, prompting referee Mohamadou to point to the spot.
Mohamadou waived away furious protests from the Malians, who felt Mbatha had been fouled outside of the box.
Nevertheless, Parker scored his second penalty in as many games to hand the South African the lead.
The home side were lucky not to be brought back down to earth shortly before the interval, after the defence failed to deal with a loose ball inside the area, which led to Abdoulaye Sissoko thumping the upright with his driven effort from close-range.
Making his first appearance of the tournament, Edward Manqele forced a solid save from Mali goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite, who punched away the shot, keeping the damage down to a single goal by the time the referee blew for half-time.
After the break, South Africa upped the pace and dictated the early exchanges, but Mali soaked up the pressure and soon drew level, as Sidibe thundered home the equaliser.
Diarra got the final pass to the goal-scorer from a hefty touch, steering the ball into Sidibe's path, and the midfielder made no mistake in hitting his effort first time, drilling into the back of the net.
Parker tested Diakite in the 70th, as the Kaizer Chiefs striker spun on the ball and got a muffled attempt away on goal, but was denied by the shot-stopper.