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13 May 2019 | Story Zama Feni | Photo Charl Devenish
Dr Quinton Meyer and Marlena Visagie
National Control Laboratory Deputy Director, Dr Quinton Meyer (right), and Marlena Visagie, Quality Assurance Manager, at the laboratory within their facilities at the University of the Free State.

The University of the Free State-based National Control Laboratory for Biological Products (NCL) has maintained its esteemed status as a pharmaceutical testing laboratory after the South African Accreditation System (SANAS) further endorsed its quality-management systems as of high standard according to the International Standards Organisation’s requirements.

The Director of the NCL, Professor Derek Litthauer, said their laboratory – which is also approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – has again achieved the international testing standards. The cherry on top was that the NCL also received a certificate of Good Manufacturing Compliance (GMP) from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). 

NCL is for Africa and the World 

Some of the factors that make the NCL an esteemed institution, is the fact that it is one of 12 laboratories worldwide to perform vaccine testing for the WHO; the NCL is the only vaccine-testing laboratory in the country that performs the final quality-control testing of all human vaccine batches marketed in South Africa on behalf of SAHPRA. 

For example, Prof Litthauer said that the influenza vaccine batches currently available on the South African market, were tested by the NCL for quality before authorising their release for sale to the public. This process is followed for all human vaccines used in SA.

 “In our role as vaccine-testing laboratory for the WHO, the NCL helps to ensure that the vaccines purchased through the WHO prequalification programme for international distribution to resource-limited countries, meet the high standards of quality, safety, and efficiency. 
The NCL was one of the first full members of the WHO NCL Network for Biologicals, which consists of full and associate members of regulatory authorities from more than 30 countries.

The NCL systems are world-class

Prof Litthauer said this achievement is recognition that their laboratory complies with specific international standards with respect to its quality-management system. 
“In practice, it means that the laboratory has all the quality systems in place to ensure high-quality test results. The GMP certification is a further step, meaning that laboratory testing is on the expected level for any pharmaceutical testing laboratory and manufacturer. It is a very strict certification.”

He further mentioned that the NCL is also licensed as a pharmaceutical manufacturer. “Although we do not manufacture, we have to comply with manufacturing standards.”
“It is rare for a pharmaceutical testing laboratory (such as the NCL) outside of a manufacturing context to qualify for both certifications. It means that the NCL complies with exceptionally strict standards for pharmaceutical labs anywhere in the world,” he said.
The certification provides the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, the World Health Organisation, and other national control laboratories around the world, with the confidence that the test results from the NCL can be trusted.


There can be no compromise for quality 

The NCL Quality Assurance Manager, Mrs Marlena Visagie, said, “It is essential that the NCL complies with the highest international quality-assurance standards to ensure that all the lot-release operations, such as manufacturing review and quality testing, are performed in a reliable and reproducible manner.”

“There can be no compromise when it comes to the quality of medicines which are made available to the public,” she said.

“What makes this special, is that the NCL does not only comply with international ISO/IEC standards for pharmaceutical testing, but also with the additional GMP standards required by a pharmaceutical manufacturer. This means that the NCL must ensure that all its operations, including everything from the way documents are compiled and stored, to the maintenance of equipment and infrastructure as well as staff competency, are performed according to international guidelines.”

All NCL staff share vision of excellence

Prof Litthauer said the NCL has a staff complement of 15 technical, administrative, and support staff.  Four staff members have PhDs, and the rest of the technical staff have master’s or bachelor’s degrees or are trained as medical technologists. “At the moment, our biggest problem is to get enough suitable space to expand our testing,” he said.

Prof Litthauer said, “All the staff members at the NCL share the vision of excellence, which makes this kind of achievement possible.”
The NCL will host the third annual meeting of the WHO NCL Network in November of this year and will then be reassessed again by the WHO as part of the normal three-year cycle of assessments.  

News Archive

The Kovsie woman hockey team back in the A Section for 2010.
2009-07-06

 
The Kovsie woman hockey team back in the A Section for 2010.
The University of the Free State (UFS) was this year the host of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) hockey tournament.

More than 660 hockey players from 17 tertiary institutions met in Bloemfontein to participate in the USSA Hockey tournament. After the National Senior Interprovincial hockey tournaments, the USSA tournament is seen as the second most important hockey tournament in South Africa. With the 34 teams that participated in the tournament on the Kovsie astro’s, it was the biggest hockey tournament in the country.

Finals Day (Day 5)

Double delight for Maties hockey

3 July 2009

JONATHAN COOK
at USSA Hockey Week in Bloemfontein

THE University Sport South Africa Hockey Week finals saw the University of Stellenbosch take the men's and women's titles, both against University of Johannesburg (UJ), at a chilly University of The Free State in Bloemfontein Friday.
There was also joy and disappointment for the promoted and relegated teams.
Hosts UFS (Kovsies) saw their men relegated back to the B Section (they had been promoted the year before at the USSA Hockey Week at North West University Pukke in Potchefstroom) and Wits return to the top level having won the B Section after their demotion last year.
Women's B Section winners in Bloemfontein Friday were Kovsies, the Free State girls now back in the A Section for 2010 after their demotion last year, while last year's promoted B Section side, University of KZN, go back to the second rung of SA university hockey after finishing last in the A Section in 2009.
Maties' men won a thrilling A Section final on a golden goal by captain Pierre de Voux after UJ had ended full-time 1-1 with the Stellenbosch men.
The women's final saw Maties run away to a 4-1 victory in the end as they finished the final in an impressive manner.
The men's and women's tournament teams, chosen under the direction of selection convenors Braam van Wyk (women) and Cheslyn Gie (men), were announced at the conclusion of the women's final at this superb hockey complex of which Kovsies have every reason to be proud.

RESULTS

Men's A Section: (1/2) University of Johannesburg 1 Maties 1 (Maties won on golden goal); (3/4) Tukkies 2 UKZN 2 (Tuks 5-4 penalty strokes); (5/6) UCT 1 NMMU 0; (7/8) Pukke 6 Kovsies 2.

Women's A Section: (1/2) Maties 4 University Johannesburg 1; (3/4) Pukke 1 Tukkies 1 (Pukke 4-2 penalty strokes); (5/6) NMMU 2 UCT 0; (7/8) Wits 2 UKZN 1.

Men's B Section: (1/2) Wits 2 Rhodes 2 (Wits won on golden goal); (3/4) Tukkies B 5 Central U of Tech 1; (5/6) Kovsies B 1 Cape Pens U of Tech 1 (Kovsies won 4-3 penalty strokes).

Other: Pukke B 2 Limpopo 0.

Women's B Section: (1/2) Kovsies 1 Rhodes 1 (Kovsies 4-3 penalty strokes); (3/4) Vaal U of Tech 3 Tukkies B 1.

Other: Central U of Tech 6 Limpopo 0, Pukke B 6 Cape Pens U of Tech 0.

2009 USSA HOCKEY TOURNAMENT TEAMS

Men: (Please note, for the men's team, SA players selected for Africa Cup in Ghana were not considered, while players were only considered who played 3 or more matches at USSA Hockey Week, as this is a Tournament team).

2009 USSA Men's Tournament Team

Goalkeepers: Jacques le Roux (Maties), Ben Mbana (Tukkies).

Defenders: Peter Bailey (NMMU), Oliver Whiteley (UJ), Kyle Rhodes (Tuks), Francois Pretorius (Tuks), David Wilson (Maties).

Links: Jonty Robinson (Tuks), Owen Mvimbi (UJ), Warren Grobler (Maties), Devon van der Merwe (UKZN), Brendon van Zyl (Tuks).

Forwards: Pierre de Voux (Maties), Geowynne Gamiet (NMMU), Brandon Panther (UJ), Duzo Khanyile (UKZN), Tebogo Lerole (UJ), Brett Pampara (Tuks). 

2009 USSA Women's Tournament Team

Goalkeepers: Hanlie Hattingh (Maties), Camille Jasson (UJ).

Defenders: Cindy Brown (Maties), Mapule Mokoena (UJ), Lisa Deetlefs (UJ), Kim Hubach (Tuks), Dirkie Chamberlain (Tuks).

Midfielders: Vida Ryan (Maties), Farah Fredericks (Maties), Lesle-Ann George (Pukke), Loreen Irvine (Pukke), Ncedisa Magwentshu (Wits), Kathleen Taylor (Maties), Lenise Marais (Maties).

Forwards: Vidette Ryan (Maties), Roxy Turner (UJ), Shelley Russell (Maties), Sulette Damons (Pukke).

Umpire grading: Erik Etsebeth (SA 2).

Day 4: Maties and UJ in University Sport men's and women's hockey finals

2 July 2009

JONATHAN COOK
at USSA Hockey Week in Bloemfontein

THE impressive University of The Free State synthetic turf hockey pitches saw some thrilling clashes Thursday, as the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Hockey Week in Bloemfontein entered its penultimate day and with it, the cross-pool playoffs.

The playoffs determine who will play in Friday's men's and women's finals, and in the men's A Section it's going to be the University of Johannesburg (UJ) against the University of Stellenbosch (Maties) at 4.30 pm, while the women's A Section finals will also see UJ tackling Maties (6 pm).

Last year's men's winners in Potchefstroom, University of Pretoria (Tukkies), went down 4-2 to Maties (third in 2008) in a penalty stroke shootout after the score read 0-0 at full-time, this after 2008 finalists UJ beat fifth-placed team last year, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), 4-0 in the first semi-final.

The first women's semi-final saw UJ, fourth last year, beat the third-placed team in 2008, North West University (Pukke), 3-1, while the late game Thursday for the second berth in the final was won 2-0 by defending champions Maties against last year's finalists Tukkies.  

The B Section finals - and the four teams hoping that victory Friday will earn them promotion to the A Section - are the following:
Men: Wits University versus Rhodes University (B field 4 pm).
Women: University of The Free State (Kovsies) versus Rhodes (B Field 2.30 pm).

RESULTS

Men's A Section (playing for places 1-4): University of Johannesburg (UJ) (2) 4 (Owen Mvimbi, Brandon Panther, Olly Whitely, Miguel da Graca) UKZN 0; Maties 0 Tukkies 0 (Maties won penalty stroke shootout 4-2).

(5-8): Nelson Mandela Metro University (NMMU) (3) 6 (Geowynne Gamiet 3, Giovanni Joseph 2, Satch Reddy, Peter Bailey) Kovsies (Free State) (1) 1 (Jaco Fourie); UCT (1) 2 (Mike Heyink, Sean Fielding) Pukke (North West) (1) 2 (Matt Fairweather 2) UCT won penalty stroke shootout 9-8.

Women's A Section (playing for places 1-4): UJ (2) 3 (Pietie Coetzee 2, Lisa Deetlefs) Pukke (1) 1 (Sulette Damons); Maties (0) 2 (Kathleen Taylor, Cindy Brown) Tukkies 0.

 (5-8): UCT (1) 3 (Imogen Holland 2, Jessica Kew); UKZN (0) 1 (Nosipho Dladla); NMMU (0) 1 (Jessie Heatley) Wits 0.

Men's B Section (playing for places 1-4): Wits 6 Tukkies B 1; Rhodes 5 Central U of Tech 1.

Other: Kovsies B (5) University of Namibia 4; Vaal U of Tech 2 University of Limpopo (Turfloop) 0; North Cape Urban FET 4 Cape Pens U of Tech 4 (CPUT won penalty stroke shootout 4-1).  

Women's B Section (playing for places 1-4): Rhodes 0 Vaal U of Tech 0 (Rhodes 6-5 on penalty stroke shootout); Kovsies 1 Tukkies B 1 (Kovsies won 4-2 penalty strokes).

Other: Cape Pens U of Tech 1 Fort Hare 1; Central U of Tech 2 Cape Pens U of Tech 2; Pukke B 8 University of Limpopo (Turfloop) 0.


Usual Suspects heading for USSA Hockey Week finals

30 June 2009

JONATHAN COOK
at USSA Hockey Week in Bloemfontein

THE University of Pretoria's Tukkies men and the Maties girls of Stellenbosch look to be set on defending their University Sport South Africa (USSA) hockey titles with success judging by the happenings on day two of the annual tournament at a crisp University of The Free State (Kovsies) in Bloemfontein Tuesday night.
This 34-team tournament is the biggest in the country after the Masters IPT.
In the top-tier Men's A Section, last year's winners the University of Pretoria (Tukkies) enjoyed a stunning 5-0 victory over University of Cape Town (UCT), who were the late-fightback 3-2 winners over UKZN on Monday.
After 38 minutes Tukkies were one goal to the good via the stick of Mark Holliday, but in the next 19 minutes mayhem broke out as coach Dave Viney's men from Pretoria pumped four goals past UCT. Holliday grabbed another goal from field play, with Nic Gonsalves and Michael Sykes joining the Pretoria boys' party, and Kyle Rhodes slamming in a penalty corner for good measure.
Last year's men's finalists the University of Johannesburg gained a crucial 2-0 victory against Stellenbosch in a battle of wits that saw SA U21 head coach Kurt Cerfontyne (Maties) and his assistant at the recent Junior World Cup, Garreth Ewing, in different corners this time round.
UJ went 1-0 up via a Dean Symons action goal in the 22nd minute – and the rattled Maties then had two players, David Wilson (26th) and Murray Clarke (28th) sent to the sin bin. A Miguel da Graca goal from a penalty corner made the game safe for UJ.
It looks like we are going to see another Battle of Gauteng among the men – Tukkies against UJ – in this year's men's USSA Hockey Week final.
And last season's talented SA U18 hockey striker Symons - alongside his equally talented national U18 team-mate and current UJ strike partner Marc le Sueur – could have a major say should that final come to pass at 7.30 pm on Friday.. 
In the women's A Section, the 2008 winners in Potchefstroom, Maties, were far too good for UJ, overwhelming the Johannesburg team in the second half.
Although they could only get one more goal after the interval through Spar SA striker Vida Ryan to add to Cindy Brown's first-half brace, Maties could have scored a good few more. Louise Coertzen scored UJ's goal that made the first-half-score read 2-1 to Maties.
However, UJ still have a chance to get to Friday's 6 pm final should they (likely) finish second to Maties in Pool A and qualify to tackle the Pool B winners in the semi-finals at 4.30 pm Thursday.
Last year's women's finalists, Tukkies, met North West and the score was 1-1 at the end after the Pretoria team had led 1-0 at half-time through Dirkie Chamberlain. Chantelle Bekker replied for Pukke.
In the B Section, host university Free State's ambitious women (Kovsies) beat University of Fort Hare 7-0.

RESULTS

Men – A Section: Tukkies (1) 5 (Mark Holliday 2, Nic Gonsalves, Kyle Rhodes, Michael Sykes) UCT 0; U of Johannesburg (1) 2 (Dean Symons, Miguel da Graca) Maties 0; UKZN (2) 3 (Duzo Khanyile, Karl Oftebro, Sihle Ntuli) Kovsies (1) 1 (Paul Jordaan); Nelson Mandela Metro U (0) 2 (Nathan Kops, Wesley Wittstock) North West (1) 1 (Matt Fairweather).

Women – A Section: Wits (2) 3 (Kirsten du Toit, Robyn Taylor, Robyn Johnson) UKZN (0) 1 (Nosipho Dladla); Maties (2) 3 (Cindy Brown 2, Vida Ryan) UJ (1) 1 (Louise Coertzen); North West (0) 1 (Chantelle Bekker) Tukkies (1) 1 (Dirkie Chamberlain); UCT (1) 2 (Deidre Potgieter, Keren Robertson) Nelson Mandela Metro U (0) 1 (Jocelyn Coombs).

Men – B Section: North Cape Urban FET 4 Vaal U of Tech 1; Tukkies B 5 Limpopo Turfloop 1; Vaal U of Tech 1 Pukke B 0; Wits 5 Kovsies B 2; Central U of Tech 2 N Cape Urban FET 1; U of Namibia 3 Cape Pens U of Tech 0; Rhodes 4 Tukkies B 2; Central U of Tech 2 Kovsies B 1; Wits 10 Pukke B 1.

Women – B Section: Rhodes 5 Pukke B 0; Tukkies B 5 Cape Pens U of Tech 0; Kovsies 7 Fort Hare 0; Pukke B 4 Central U of Tech 0; Vaal U of Tech 8 Limpopo Turfloop 0; Kovsies 7 Central U of Tech 0.


Cold weather doesn't deter hot hockey at Kovsies
Varsities hockey week on fire

JONATHAN COOK
at USSA Hockey Week in Bloemfontein

Despite the cold weather, there was much to warm the cockles of one's heart on day one of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Hockey Week at University of the Free State (Kovsies) in Bloemfontein Monday.
In the Men's A Section (the first division), the fancied University of Pretoria (Tuks) beat hosts Free State Varsity (Kovsies) 4-0 after leading by two goals at half-time. All the Tuks goals were field goals with the scorers being Jonty Robinson, captain Brendan van Zyl, Simon O'Callaghan and Malcolm Ratz.
The University of Johannesburg clash with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU of Port Elizabeth) went down to the wire, UJ eventually prevailing 2-1.
After a goalless first half, UJ's Tebogo Lerole opened proceedings from a penalty corner and Joezay Kops equalised for NMMU with 12 minutes to go. The winner came after the final hooter had sounded, umpire Erik Etsebeth correctly awarding a penalty corner to UJ, which meant the set-piece had to be concluded, and Brandon Panther netted a great deflection goal for the winner.
The Maties men versus Pukke match saw the Potch boys start shakily. The Stellenbosch side under SA U21 head coach Kurt Cerfontyne were 3-0 up before the Pukke got back into the game. Although it was fairly even from this point, the Pukke caught fire too late in order to catch the Maties cold.
On a hot-blooded day for the umpires, who got heat from the players on the field and from personnel on the benches, both teams in this match were complimented for their well-disciplined benches.
Tuks' women and NMMU played to a goalless draw in the Women's A Section before University of Stellenbosch (Maties) outplayed University of KZN 8-0 after leading 3-0 at the break. Spar SA striker Farah Fredericks bagged a hat-trick with national team-mates Cindy Brown, Vida Ryan and Kathleen Taylor also getting in on the act.
The Pukke of North West University beat University of Cape Town (UCT) 3-0 with Chantelle Bekker, Lesle-Ann George and Princess Khuzwayo getting among the goals.
The University of The Free State is to be congratulated on a splendid venue, with synthetic turf hockey pitches side-by-side and including proper technical areas on both fields plus a festive clubhouse facility.

RESULTS

Men – A Section: Tukkies (2) 4 (Jonty Robinson, Brendan van Zyl, Simon O'Callaghan, Malcolm Ratz) Kovsies 0; UJ (0) 2 (Tebogo Lerole, Brandon Panther) NMMU (0) 1 (Joezay Kops); UCT (2) 3 (Ant Vervoort 2, Simon van Helsdingen) UKZN (2) 2 (Dalan Phillips, Duzo Khanyile); Maties (2) 3 (Pierre de Voux, Shaun McIntyre, Rob Grant) Pukke (0) 1 (Matt Fairweather).

Women – A Section: Tuks 0 NMMU 0; Maties (3) 8 (Farah Fredericks 3, Candice Manuel 2, Vida Ryan, Cindy Brown, Kath Taylor) UKZN 0; Pukke (1) 3 (Chantelle Bekker, Lesle-Ann George, Princess Khuzwayo) UCT 0; UJ (3) 7 (Bernadette Coston, Roxanne Turner 2, Louise Coertzen, Sarah Harley 2, Nicole de Vries) Wits 0.

Men – B Section: UFS Reds B 2 N Cape Urban FET 2; Rhodes 7 Limpopo Turfloop 1; Wits 3 Central U of Tech 2; Tukkies B 4 Cape Pens U of Tech 0; Pukke B 0 NCU FET 2; UFS Reds 1 Vaal U of Tech 0; Namibia Uni 10 Limpopo 2; Rhodes 3 Cape Pens U of Tech 1; Pukke B 0 Central U of Tech 5. 

Women – B Section: Rhodes 4 Central U of Tech 0; Pukke B 3 Fort Hare 0; Tukkies B 12 Limpopo 0; Vaal U of Tech 6 Cape Pens U of Tech 0; UFS Reds 3 Rhodes 2. 

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