Then Domenech, set to be replaced by Laurent Blanc, saw his side reduced to 10 men after 26 minutes of this Group A game when Yoann Gourcuff was sent off for a high elbow.
This sparked altercations on and off the pitch as players from both sides protested to the referee, while on the touchline Domenech and Carlos Alberto Parreira had their own tete-a-tete.
South Africa took advantage with Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela both finding the target. Although Florent Malouda stepped off the bench to pull a goal back, France are now heading home early.
Domenech then ended his troubled reign as France coach in controversial fashion by refusing to shake Parreira’s hand at the final whistle.
The 58-year-old, who saw his side’s catastrophic campaign end with a 2-1 defeat, refused to expand on why he had not accepted the traditional handshake from Parreira.
“I have no intention of replying to this question,” he said.
“Is there another question?,” he asked after the question was posed to him again by another journalist.
A third tried his luck: “Why are you refusing to answer this question?” to which Domenech responded: “Is there another question?
“If these are all the questions you are going to ask me, I am going to leave you, we are not from the same world.”
However, Parreira, who guided Brazil to the 1994 title, did try to explain the snub.
“I believe it was because I had criticised his team after they qualified (when they controversially beat Ireland in the play-offs), but I really don’t remember,” he said. “This is what his assistants told me.”