Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Prof Andre Keet to chair Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation
2017-07-14

Description: Prof Andre Keet  Tags: Transformation, Higher Education, Oversight Committee, appointment 

Prof Andre Keet 
Photo: Stephen Collet

Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has increased from seven to 10 the number of members of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on the Transformation in the South African Public Universities.

In a government gazette published on 7 July 2017‚ Dr Nzimande appointed new members of the committee for a three-year term to be chaired by Prof Andre Keet, Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State (UFS). Prof Keet is a returning member of the committee alongside former University of Fort Hare chancellor Dr Mvuyo Tom.

The purpose of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation in South African Public Universities is to monitor progress on transformation in public universities‚ serve as an expert advisory body and provide independent and external advice to the minister and the department.

The committee has been given 11 tasks‚ chief of which is to study and evaluate transformation plans and charters of all universities. It is mandated to use this exercise as a basis for the development of a sectoral transformation charter. It is also tasked with reviewing the annual reports of institutions on transformation and producing an annual report on the state of transformation in the higher education sector.

Prof Keet’s appointment comes at a pivotal time when transformation at universities has been at the heart of many debates in universities, government and broader society. Prof Keet said: “It is an honour and privilege to serve the sector at this level and in this capacity.”

The university is proud to have in its ranks a leader of such calibre who has also spearheaded transformation initiatives at the UFS through the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice over the past six years.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept