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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

Elinor Sisulu to present lecture at the UFS
2008-07-30

Human rights activist, Ms Elinor Sisulu, will deliver a Women’s Day lecture, titled: “Voiceless and voteless, fleeing zanuphobia into xenophobia: A Zimbabwean woman’s perspective of National Women’s Day” at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein on Wednesday next week.
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She was invited by the Faculty of the Humanities at the UFS to deliver the lecture on Wednesday 6 August because of her stature as an activist and writer and her views on the topical issue of Zimbabwe.

The Vice-Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, Prof Engela Pretorius, said the UFS was keen to engage the larger community on these kinds of issues and invites all interested people to attend.

Ms Sisulu is a writer, human rights activist and political analyst. Born in Zimbabwe, she was educated in Zimbabwe, Senegal and the Netherlands.

She combines training in history, English literature, development studies and feminist theory. In 1994 she published an award-winning children's book, “The Day Gogo Went to Vote”.

Her biography about her mother-in-law and father-in-law, titled “Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime”, was published to critical acclaim in December 2002. The book was runner-up in the 2003 Alan Paton Non-fiction Award and won the 2003 Noma Award for publishing in Africa.

Ms Sisulu works in the South African office for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the major umbrella body of Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations.

The lecture will start at 19:00 in the CR Swart Auditorium on the main campus in Bloemfontein.

Light refreshments will be served.

Those wishing to attend must please make a booking with Hettie Beukes at 051 401 2240 or beukeshs.hum@ufs.ac.za.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
30 July 2008
 

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