Dr Bonita de Klerk is the Operations Manager for the Malapa Project in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University. Her work with Ifa Lethu started in 2009, when a casting workshop for 40 students from Mamelodi was run at the Origins Centre. This first workshop proved successful and 2 of the candidates were hired onto the Malapa project at Wits University. These 2 young men became the principal casting technicians for all the fossil material coming out of the newly discovered site of Malapa.
“Since then we have run numerous workshops and trained interns in conjunction with Ifa Lethu, the most recent of these collaborations was the training of 10 people from the local communities in the Cradle of Humankind. The participants were trained in moulding, casting and painting.
The collaboration with Ifa Lethu allowed participants to get involved with the fossil heritage which is found on their doorstep.” De Klerk graduated with a PhD in Palaeontology from Wits University (2012). She is a Wits graduate and holds a BSc in Geology (2005), a BSc Honours in Geology and Palaeontology (2006), and a MSc Degree in Palaeontology with Distinction (2007).