Maritzburg hoped to climb up the standings with a win to demote Stars down to the bottom-two slots.
It was never going to be an easy task for either side who had not clamped up a win in over two and three months respectively.
Stars started the brighter, with the combination of Sthembiso Dlamini and Yusuf Jappie causing problems and opening spaces in and outside the penalty area. Jappie was denied a maiden professional goal with a goal-line clearance by Brian Onyango.
Ea Lla Koto threatened again through a free-kick from Jappie that narrowly sailed past the bottom left post, before Harris Tchilimbou forced an instinctive save from Richard Ofori after being set-up from the edge of the area by Dlamini.
After six minutes of time were added on in the first half, the Team of Choice were in front with the last kick of the half after Deolin Mekoa calmly picked his spot to find the bottom corner with a low shot from outside the box.
The show of intent from the visitors silently eroded in the opening exchanges, causing neither meaningful havoc nor inventiveness in an offensive sense. This prompted Nikola Kavazovic to make a change, as Sinethemba Jantjie was drafted in for Makhaula.
After having his long-range strike expertly tipped over the top by Ofori, youngster Katlego Mokhuoane made amends with an exquisite equaliser inside the final quarter.
The Pietermaritzburg side began showing up once again, and inside the final 10 minutes, Jantjie latched home the winner with a first-time volley after being teed-up by Nyiko Mobbie.
In added time, Makgalwa turned inside the box to from an acute angle to get a shot away, but the effort fell just off target as it sailed across the face of goal as Ea Lla Koto held on for the win.
The victory ends a dismal run of results for Stars, as it’s their first away of the season while United suffer successive defeats under the tenure of Muhsin Ertugral.
Stars: Sangare, Makhaula, Mahamutsa, Mobbie, Phungwayo, Masehe, Mokhuoane, Mbhele, Dlamini, Jappie, Tchilimbou,
Subs: Mbambo, Khabane, Maruping, Mbuli, Jantjie, Hlubi, Rodgers.