A worrying video emerged of a toddler screaming over what he thinks is his mother's corpse - when actually she is just taking part in the 'death pose' craze.
The distraught little boy sobs and claws at his mum's seemingly lifeless body, not realising that the whole thing is a prank.
And experts are now warning that the craze has gone too far.
Cultural and traditional expert Matshediso Mothwalo said: "Death is never funny. When people pose as the dead they are attracting bad luck. In our culture we do not allow people to pose as dead because they not only call bad luck down on themselves but on their families too."
The dead pose craze has taken hold in South Africa, with many people staging elaborate pictures of fake death scenes.
Other examples of the death pose trend include a man who has placed raw meat around his neck with an axe embedded in it.
Some people pose as if they have hanged themselves. Others arrange themselves on a pile of bricks, with a few bricks on top, as if they have been killed by falling building supplies.
Some other examples see people prone in a river, on a rooftop or sprawled on a building site.
It is unclear where exactly the video was shot and the names of the mother and the toddler were not revealed.
Viewers poured fury on the video of the crying toddler posted by 'Realistic Prince'.
One wrote: "This DeadPose thing...this is actually not even funny. Poor child. This could traumatise this baby for life."
Others called the woman "ruthless" and not deserving to be a mother.
Speaking to local media, other South Africans offered various criticisms of the craze.
One said: "These people are sick in the head."
"These people are inviting death into their own lives or the lives of their families," said another.
A furious resident of Soweto in the northern city of Johannesburg said: "I am speechless. People have lost their minds. Let's just leave them to die."
One viewer wrote: "What was the motive behind the death pose? I am leaving South Africa."
But ‘Lloyd Khonto’ replied: "Man, this country is one of a kind. Where else would you see something like this? I ain’t going nowhere."