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They stood their ground!’ – Professional Gangsters in South African Indian Society, 1940 - 1970
This thesis is one part of a Creative PhD that investigates the emergence of a new breed of South African Indian gangsters in Durban and Johannesburg in the early apartheid period. The second part, existing as a separate creative text, is a screenplay for a feature film loosely based on dynamics and events present in the Durban Indian underworld of the 1950s. In the thesis I argue that while prominent ‘professional’ Indian gangsters were similar to other ‘non-white’ gangsters in certain respects (their self-fashioning in relation to gangster films, for one), these ‘gentlemen gangsters’ were different in terms of their high level of social and economic integration into Indian society. Focusing on the Crimson League in Durban and Sherief Khan’s gang in Johannesburg, this research comprises reconstructions from (and analysis of) interviews and written sources. It shows how these hustlers positioned themselves as protectors of the Indian community, but also cultivated reputations as punishers, capable of brutal violence if opposed.
Clarifying the stratigraphic boundary between Member 4 and member 5 of the Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa: a three-dimensional spatial analysis of hominin fossils and stone tools
The caves of the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, have yielded some of the most important palaeoanthropological evidence in the world. Over the last eighty years, Sterkfontein has produced remarkable fossils of both hominins and the diverse range of fauna that lived on the landscape over the last 3.67 million years. The Sterkfontein evolutionary record is not limited to fossils but also documents a rich development of stone tool technology from the Oldowan to Middle Stone Age. Sterkfontein is one of the only sites in the world that documents such a long sequence of overlapping biological and technological evolution. The recent development of a three-dimensional GIS-based geospatial framework at Sterkfontein has provided a new tool with which to interrogate spatial data from the extensive palaeoanthropological assemblages yielded from Members 4 and 5 at the Sterkfontein Caves. To explore long-standing debates regarding the stratigraphic association and formation of Member 4 and Member 5, this research conducted a GIS-enabled spatial analysis of Australopithecus fossils and fossil wood from Member 4 and stone tools from Member 5. Clarifying the location of the boundary between Member 4 and Member 5 may improve our stratigraphic control of the hominin and non-hominin fauna. Greater spatial and stratigraphic confidence in the attribution of specimens to major units, or even sub-divisions within major units, may assist in differentiating chronologically and stratigraphically distinct assemblages, thereby providing more surety to taxonomic and palaeoenvironmental associations between these deposits. In clarifying the location of the cave entrance, from which the Member 4 sediment accumulated, this research also addresses long-standing debates about the morphology of the Member 4 deposit and has implications on the stratigraphy of the unit and taphonomy of the interred fossil assemblages.
The transformation agenda implementation at Eskom, Koeberg: lessons learnt for nuclear new build
South Africa aspires to re-industrialise and transform the economy into a globally competitive one, comprised of inclusive growth and development of all citizens. By leveraging the state’s procurement spend it strives to unlock opportunities for localisation and empowerment within state owned companies such as Eskom. This study sought to make recommendations from the investigations and analysis at Eskom, Koeberg regarding the lessons learnt from the implementation of its transformation agenda in the procurement processes, to assist nuclear new build. Data was collected and analysed, finding that little buy-in was obtained. Entrenching Transformational DNA – the central point around which the study binds – indicates the corrective action needed to commence its change journey, where DNA entrenchment is a sustainable and necessary precursor to future implementation in nuclear new build. The findings are significant if Koeberg is to maximise its local developmental impact in the ‘nuclear’ and ‘designated sectors for localisation’ productive sectors. It is recommended that Koeberg should re-implement the transformation agenda, taking cognisance of the lessons learnt.
Public remotely sensed data raise concerns about history of failed Jagersfontein dam
(Springer Nature, 2023-04-05)
A mine waste deposit known as a tailings dam recently failed in the town of Jagersfontein, South Africa. The failure occurred amidst global concern about the safety record of these structures. Herein we use public remotely sensed data to gain insights into the construction history of the dam. The data suggest a construction sequence that is inconsistent with sound tailings management practices: asymmetric deposition, erosion gullies, large ponds and absence of beaches. These observations highlight the criticality of adhering to good construction practices and the potential of public data to monitor such adherence. Additionally, we present commercially available very high resolution satellite images to illustrate some of the immediate consequences of the failure.
Arts Research Africa 2022 Conference - Introduction
(Arts Research Africa, 2022-09-16)
Introduction - Presented by Prof Christo Doherty