Bongi Ntuli looked to work something for Dikwena in the sixth minute but his shot was an easy one for Marlon Heugh to deal with, before Ndumiso Mabena let a wild effort fly way off target with 15 minutes gone on the clock.
Highlands looked to find a response and came close through Khethukuthula Zwane, whose free-kick had the beating of Mbongeni Mzimela but only rippled the side netting.
Stars then had Kamogelo Mathe to thank for keeping the score level with around 10 minutes of the first-half remaining as he found himself well placed to clear the ball off the line from Mthobi Mvala’s shot for Highlands.
Mabena came agonisingly close to opening the scoring shortly after the restart but saw his excellent free-kick cruelly denied by the frame of the goal.
Any chance for the game to develop was severely hampered by numerous fouls and free-kicks, although most of them came in the middle of the park, leading to little in the way of goal-scoring opportunities.
Mabena again had a chance to wrestle away the points with a header in the final seven minutes, only to this time place his effort over the bar.
Stars would finally make the breakthrough with just minutes remaining, Robert Ng’ambi rising well to meet a delivery and send his header past the goalkeeper to snatch all three points.