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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

Qwaqwa Campus announces 2017/2018 SRC
2017-09-06

Description: QQ campus SRC Tags: Qwaqwa Campus, SRC,Sasco, Prakash Naidoo 

Newly-elected SRC President, Masopha Hlalele, leading a
ceremonial walk to the SRC chambers for the first sitting
of the SRC.With him is the Director: Student Affairs,
Temba Hlasho;IEA Chairperson, Grey Magaiza; and
Campus Principal, Prof Prakash Naidoo.
Photo: Thabo Kessah


The 2017/2018 Student Representative Council (SRC) elections on the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) have been declared free, fair, and credible. This was announced by the Chairperson of the institutional Independent Electoral Agency (IEA), Grey Magaiza, during the official announcement of the results and the hand-over ceremony held on 4 September 2017. 

“We had an average voter turnout of 52% per elective portfolio, thus making it arguably one of the highest in the country. Compared to last year, there was a 15% increase notwithstanding the 23% increase in the student population,” he said.  
In congratulating the newly-elected SRC, the Director of Student Affairs, Temba Hlasho, challenged the student leaders to leave the campus intact and fully sustainable for future generations.
“You are now faced with the mammoth task of understanding your role in developing an ethical and moral leadership that will help to sustain the university academically, financially, and beyond.”
In his response, the new SRC President, Masopha Hlalele, acknowledged the role played by the previous SRC, and said they were prepared to usher in a new phase of turning each student into a proud ambassador of the campus.

“We will be ushering in a new phase where all students will be the focus of the SRC. This will be a phase where students will not discriminate against each other, but appreciate each other’s differences and become ambassadors,” he said.

The South African Students’ Congress (Sasco) won all seven elective seats with an average of 62.5%.

Elective portfolios:

President: Masopha Hlalele 
Deputy President: Sakhile Mnguni 
Secretary General:  Mawande Mazibuko 
Treasurer General:  Mafusi Mosia 
Media and Publicity:  Khethukuthula Thusi 
Student Development and Environmental Affairs: Mbali Ndlovu 
Politics and Transformation: Promise Mofokeng

Ex officio portfolios:

Arts and Culture: Khulani Mhlongo 
Religious Affairs: Ndamulelo Muthaki, 
RAG, Community and Dialogue: Mafeka Tshabalala 
Residence and Catering Affairs: Thato Moloi  
Sports Affairs: Sibusiso Nsibande
Academic Affairs: Mamokete Tamo
Off-Campus: Khethwa Mngezi 

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