Springbok Le Roux helps Griquas grab win
South African player Willie le Roux attends a training session at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on September 6, 2013
Back from Rugby Championship Test duties, the right-wing made the passes that sent replacement loose forward Carel Greeff and centre Jean Stemmet over for tries.
Full-back Gouws Prinsloo converted both mid-second half scores to turn a 13-0 half-time deficit into a one-point lead for the hosts at Hoffe Park Stadium in central city Kimberley.
Pumas, bidding for promotion after winning the second tier of the Currie Cup last weekend, replied with a couple of penalties from replacement fly-half JC Roos.
The team from north-eastern city Nelspruit clung to the five-point advantage until the final minute when a driving maul enabled Marnus Schoeman to dot down.
Flanker Schoeman had two other tries disallowed by referee Jonathan Kaplan, 45, who retires this month after handling a world-record 68 Tests.
Prinsloo converted to give his team four points for winning while Pumas picked up one bonus point for losing by fewer than eight points.
Centre Wilmaure Louw scored an opportunist try for the losers and fly-half Carl Bezuidenhout kicked the conversion and two penalties.
The return match is scheduled for October 25 at Mbombela Stadium, one of 10 grounds used for the 2010 football World Cup.