Great Britain Hockey have offered a "full and unreserved apology" to the South African women's team after the apartheid anthem Die Stem was played.
The mistake happened before the start of the London Cup match between the teams, which South Africa won 3-1.
The South African Hockey Association said: "This incident robbed our team of what should've been a moment of pride."
GB Hockey said: "The error was made by a contractor responsible for sports presentation at the event."
Marissa Langeni, chief executive of the South African Hockey Association, said the country "watched with disbelief as our team stood through what clearly was a most embarrassing and uncomfortable experience".
British counterpart Sally Munday said: "Standard procedure would be to check anthems to be played with visiting teams in advance, however, on this occasion that did not happen and Great Britain Hockey accepts full responsibility.
"Great Britain Hockey and its contractor appreciate the sensitive nature of this unfortunate mistake and we apologise unreservedly for the offence caused.
"The correct anthem will be played before all of South Africa's remaining matches, beginning with the team's second fixture against Germany on Wednesday evening."