My Google alerts have been going off the last couple of days about Sterkfontein. I know nothing about any new discoveries, but the Times (South Africa) has run a short article by Derek Hanekom, the country’s deputy minister of science and technology:
This much can be revealed: new fossil discoveries have been made by Berger in the Cradle of Humankind. The discovery was disclosed to Parliament a few months ago. President Jacob Zuma recently took a break from his busy schedule to visit Wits to view these new items. So, we know were talking about something big. So big, the paleontological world is buzzing with excitement and there is widespread speculation that they will provide new clues to the evolutionary puzzle.
So I suppose it’s more than a mere rumor that there’s something new. Now, as to how important or significant it may be – almost any “new” thing, exciting or not, might be enough to piggyback an effort to increase funding and support from the government. Paleoanthropology is to South Africa what NASA is to the U.S.