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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

Outgoing Rector donates computer to security guard
2008-10-23

 
Prof. Frederick Fourie and Mr Teli Mohlakoana
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe
The outgoing Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie, has donated a laptop computer to a security guard at the UFS to enable him to continue writing radio dramas.

Mr Teli Mohlakoana was one of the security guards dispatched to Prof. Fourie’s house at the time of the Reitz video incident.

Prof. Fourie said it was during that time that he noticed Mr Mohlakoana busy writing, and approached him to find out what he was writing. He told Prof. Fourie he was writing his latest drama for Lesedi FM, something he has been doing for years without a computer.

Mr Mohlakoana started writing radio dramas in 1997, and is currently working on three dramas with 35 episodes each. His first drama, “Na Ke Phoso” (Am I Wrong?) was aired in 2004. He said the laptop will make his job much easier.

“I am very happy to have received this gift, and I intend to use it to teach other people to write dramas”, he said.

Mr Mohlakoana is also busy writing a book titled “Dikapeso” (Graduations), as well as a stage play, with the assistance of the Drama Department. He started working for the UFS in 2006.

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  
22 October 2008
 

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