Zimbabwean Malajila chased down a long ball and showed great composure and strength to hold off Jimmy Jambo and then Dominic Isaacs before beating Itumeleng Khune with a deft toe poke.
The classy 74th-minute strike was enough to separate the two sides who, up until then, did not really look like scoring.
This was Maritzburg’s first League win away from home all season and debutant Ryan de Jongh will long remember the night in he put in a star performance as a makeshift left back.
Captain Kurt Lentjies hit the upright with an early free-kick before they felt they had a good penalty decision turned down when Felix Obada’s cross seemed to strike Tefu Mashamaite's hand.
Chiefs’ best scoring chance of the opening half came when Abia Nale cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful left-footed strike which Shuaib Walters pushed onto the crossbar.
After the break Chiefs came out with more purpose, but by now Maritzburg were set up really well and defended with determination and skill.
It was going to take something special to unlock their defence and Amakhosi could not come up with the goods in the final third of the field.
But in the 62nd minute Amakhosi also had a penalty decision turned down when Bernard Parker fired in a first time shot only to see the ball strike Peter Petersen on his hand.
Late in the game Dominic Isaacs’ header flew wide of the post and Khune’s free-kick attempt from a very good position flew wide of goal.