Michael Stewart, who allegedly struck down motorcyclist Florenda Benjamin resulting in his death on Tuesday last, was granted bail in the sum of $400,000 when he appeared before Linden Magistrate Clive Nurse to answer a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.It is alleged that the 31-year-old Stewart of Amelia’s Ward Mackenzie, Linden caused the death of 37-year-old Benjamin of Block 22, Wismar, Linden due to careless driving committed on April 17 last.As a condition of bail, Stewart has to report to the Mackenzie Police Station every Friday until the conclusion of the case. He is scheduled to return to court on May 21.Reports are that Benjamin, who was riding motorcycle CJ 1644, died at Sir David Rose Avenue, Mackenzie after allegedly being struck by motorcar HC 6299, being driven by Stewart.At least three other persons were injured in that accident: Leinani Ally, 31, of 26 Cinderella City, Amelia’s Ward; Emily Ally, 11 months old, of the same address; and Mary Fraser, 16, of 24 Cinderella City, Amelia’s Ward.The accident occurred at about 16:30h when Stewart, who was proceeding north, reportedly overtook another car and in the process hit Benjamin, who was proceeding south along the eastern side of the road. The deceased and the injured were rushed to the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), where Benjamin was pronounced dead on arrival and the injured were treated and sent away.
Heat-treated silcrete (right) anduntreated silcrete (left).(Image: Kyle Brown, SACP4) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lynne CableDepartment of Archaeology, UCT+27 21 650 2353• Curtis MareanInstitute of Human Origins, ASU+1 480 727 6580 USEFUL LINKS• SACP4• Science• University of Cape Town• Institute of Human Origins, ArizonaState UniversityJanine ErasmusNew evidence has emerged that 72 000 years ago ancient Southern Africans used pyrotechnology, or the controlled use of fire, to make stone tools.This pushes back the earliest signs of heat treatment by at least 45 000 years and signals a breakthrough in human evolution, researchers say.The results of research carried out by an international team of scientists from the universities of Arizona, Liverpool, New South Wales, Bordeaux, Wollongong, and Cape Town were published in the journal Science in mid-August 2009.Studies were carried out at Pinnacle Point, a sea cave in the cliffs near Mossel Bay on South Africa’s southern Cape coast. Signs of occupation show that the first inhabitants arrived at the site 164 000 years ago.Kyle Brown, an archaeology doctorate student at Cape Town University whose research focuses on experimentally replicating ancient tools, was the study leader and the paper’s chief author.Brown is also a director at the South African Coast Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology Project (SACP4), located at Pinnacle Point.Tool makingOver the course of his research, Brown noticed that many ancient arrowheads and other implements found at the site were made of silcrete, a conglomerate of gravel and sand cemented by silica.Ancient inhabitants of the time used the technique of flaking, or hitting one piece of rock with another to chip off sharp flakes, to make spearheads or meat-cutting implements. The smaller of the two pieces so produced is the flake, while the larger one is the core. The core may be used again to produce more flakes until it is completely reduced.Wishing to reproduce the tools, the researchers tried to locate the silcrete’s source but, said Brown, they could not find any that matched the fine-grained, reddish implements they found at the site.The idea of heat treatment was sparked by their fortunate discovery of a large piece of silcrete, almost 10cm in diameter, embedded in ash.This chunk, said Brown, looked “like it had been accidentally lost in a fire pit”. Then the idea of heat treatment occurred, and the team began to test the silcrete in fires, burying stones in the sand and building a fire on top, keeping it going for hours at a time.After some experimentation, according to the Science report, they were able to make exact replicas of the glossy, reddish implements found in the Pinnacle Point cave.But heat-treated tools were no accident. It took the team a long time to find the right recipe, which called for between 20kg and 40kg of hardwood, and a firing time of around 30 hours with the stone item buried under the coals. It took a lot of planning for ancient people to successfully complete this process, said Brown.Further tests were needed to substantiate the theory. These included archaeomagnetic analysis, which works on the fact that heating changes the stone’s magnetic polarity; optically stimulated luminescence dating, which measures the time since material containing crystalline structures was heated or exposed to sunlight; and maximum gloss, which measures reflectance of the surface.Evolutionary breakthroughThe research team views the development of controlled heat treatment as a breakthrough in human evolution.Heat treatment is a behaviour traditionally associated with the Upper Palaeolithic epoch (45 000 – 10 000 years ago), but Pinnacle Point features only a large Middle Palaeolithic (300 000 – 30 000 years ago) occupation. The Palaeolithic era is distinguished by the development of the first stone tools.Skilfully using heat to modify stone required a cognitive link between improved flaking qualities and other changes in the material, and fire. This could indicate that complex thinking may have developed earlier than previously thought.“These early modern humans commanded fire in a nuanced and sophisticated manner,” said Brown. “This is the beginnings of fire and engineering, the origins of pyrotechnology, and the bridge to more recent ceramic and metal technology.”Even more exciting are indications that heat treatment could have begun at Pinnacle Point at the same time that people moved in – that is, 164 000 years ago.According to the study, the earliest signs of heat treatment of stone were previously seen in Europe, and no later than 25 000 years ago.“We push this back at least 45 000 years,” said project director and co-author Curtis Marean, a paleoanthropologist with Arizona University’s Institute of Human Origins in the US, “and perhaps 139 000 years, and place it on the southern tip of Africa at Pinnacle Point.”Other significant behaviours discovered at Pinnacle Point include the harvesting of shellfish for food, and the use of ochre pigment for personal adornment.The paper concludes that such an early expression of cognitive ability in technology gives further impetus to the theory that the southern tip of Africa is the origin of modern humans’ genetic lineage.Modern humans appeared between 100 000 and 200 000 years ago in Africa, leaving the continent about 50 000 years ago for the cooler climates of Europe and Asia. The Neanderthals living there at the time died out eventually, leaving modern humans to populate the northern and southern continents.Marean said their discovery provides a reasonable explanation for the rapid spread of modern humans over their new domain. “They were masters of fire and heat and stone, a crucial advantage as these tropical people penetrated the cold lands of the Neanderthal.”Marean goes on to describe the Pinnacle Point team as a leader in revealing the process of how humans developed into the species they are today.
9 November 2016Zenzile Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg on 4 March 1932; she died on 9 November 2008 in Castel Volturno, Italy, following a concert performance.Miriam Makeba a.k.a. Mama Africa (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008) – She was a South African singer and civil rights activist. #F2FA #africa pic.twitter.com/Y5sA8NAvuf— Face2face Africa (@Face2faceAFRICA) November 3, 2016She began her professional singing career in the 1950s as a member of the Manhattan Brothers, later working with the Skylarks. Her powerful, distinctive voice and fresh approach to mixing traditional African music with newer jazz sounds helped to make her 1956 solo single Pata Pata a national radio hit.Makeba sang the lead in the local musical King Kong and following an appearance in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa, she left South Africa to reprise her King Kong role on London’s West End.She met American singer Harry Belafonte in 1959, who helped to boost her singing career in the US. Makeba released her first solo album in 1960, featuring her signature hit song, the classic Click Song.Makeba performed for the American president, John F Kennedy, and appeared on the popular Ed Sullivan television show, which boosted her profile among American audiences. Time magazine called her the “most exciting new singing talent to appear in many years”, while Newsweek compared her to Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.Unable to return to apartheid South Africa, Makeba lived in exile for the next 30 years.Makeba and Belafonte married in 1964 and together recorded the Grammy- winning An Evening with… featuring the hits Train Song / Mbombela and Malaika. She was considered one of the innovators of the world music genre and was famed for her idiosyncratic, proudly African fashion sense. She re-recorded Pata Pata in 1967, which become a global smash hit.Makeba and Belafonte divorced and she went on to married US civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael. She addressed the UN in 1975, calling for global political and economic pressure on South Africa’s apartheid government. Makeba later moved to Brussels, Belgium, to focus on family life and her political activism; she also undertook several successful tours on the European jazz circuit.After touring with Paul Simon on his groundbreaking Graceland tour in 1987, Makeba’s music career experienced a revival, and she released her first new music in a decade. She also performed at the 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute in London, where she performed the song Soweto Blues with Hugh Masekela to an estimated global audience of 600 million.Makeba returned to South Africa in 1990, after the release of Mandela, and set about creating, alongside other former musical exiles, a new soundtrack for post- apartheid South Africa. Her 1991 album, Eye on Tomorrow, featured performances with American jazz greats Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie.Her final studio album, Homeland, released in 2000, featured an updated version of Pata Pata and earned the singer a Grammy for Best World Music Album.Makeba suffered a fatal heart attack following a performance in Castel Volturno, in Italy, on 9 November 2008. Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer Angélique Kidjo curated a performance piece, titled Mama Africa: Celebrating Miriam Makeba, that gathered together African and international female performers to pay tribute to the life and art of Makeba and her groundbreaking role in bringing African music to a global audience.Source: South African History OnlineSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material