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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

Prof Prakash Naidoo appointed as Vice-Rector: Operations
2017-09-13

 Description: Prof Prakash read more Tags: Prof Prakash Naidoo, Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector: Operations, Qwaqwa Campus Principal 

Prof Prakash Naidoo has been appointed
as Vice-Rector: Operations
Photo: Stephen Collet



The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the appointment of Prof Prakash Naidoo as Vice-Rector: Operations, during its quarterly meeting held on the South Campus in Bloemfontein on 8 September 2017.

Prof Naidoo is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Resources and Planning at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). He has also been the Executive Dean: Faculty of Management Sciences at VUT. Prior to this, he was a lecturer in the Department of Accounting at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and Vice-Dean and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at DUT.
“Prof Naidoo is a seasoned senior manager and an excellent appointment in this vital position. He understands the higher-education sector, and the Council is satisfied by the quality and extent of experience which he will bring to the position,” said Mr Willem Louw, Chairperson of the UFS Council. 

He holds a PhD in Management Accounting, MComm in Management Accounting, Honours in Accounting, Honours in Economics, BComm (Acc), and a University Diploma in Education.

Prof Naidoo is a registered professional accountant with the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), an associate of the Chartered Institute of Business Management (CIBM), and an Internationally Certified Fraud Examiner (ACFE). He was also an international associate of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
He served as member and chairperson on various boards and forums, including the Investment Committee of the National Tertiary Retirement Fund (NTRF); Audit Committee of the National Institute on Higher Education in Mpumalanga (NIHE); Audit Committee of the Higher Education Purchasing Consortium (PURCO), and other task teams in higher education. He also served as a former director of ACFE (SA Chapter), where he received a commendation for his work in fighting fraud and corruption in the country. He has written and published numerous papers, supervised research, presented papers at conferences, and published one book.
Prof Naidoo is currently the Campus Principal of the university’s Qwaqwa Campus. He will start in the new position as from 1 January 2018, following the subsequent retirement of Prof Nicky Morgan, current Vice-Rector: Operations at the end of December 2017.

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