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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

UFS honours its sport stars
2008-10-24

 

The UFS's sport stars are, from the left: Robert Ebersohn, junior mens sport star, Boy Soke, Sportsman of the Year, and Mari-Lise Linde, junior women sport star. Adéle Niemand, Sportswoman of the Year, was absent.

 The University of the Free State (UFS) this week honoured its sport stars during the annual Kovsie Sports Dinner, held in Bloemfontein.

Boy Soke, long distance runner who has obtained national colours in all three disciplines of athletics was named Sportsman of the Year. Protea netball player Adéle Niemand was named Sportswoman of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The Cheetah and Springbok sevens rugby player, Robert Ebersohn and netball player Mari-Lise Linde were named junior sport stars.

“The inclusion of five of our students in the South African team that took part in the Beijing Olympic Games is an indication of the standard of sport at the university. We are proud of all our sportsmen and women and salute them for the effort they put in to achieving their goals,” said Mr James Letuka, Director of KovsieSport.

The UFS this year had several other achievements, namely: The inclusion of eight Free State cricket players in the amateur team, the hockey team winning the University Sport South Africa (USSA) B section, the inclusion of three soccer players in the USSA team, rugby winning the USSA competition for the second time, netball winning gold on the USSA tournament for the fourth consecutive year, and the ladies tennis winning the USSA tournament.

The following awards were also made in the university’s different sporting codes during the Kovsie Sports Dinner:

Roné Reyneke: Athletics
Boy Soke: Athletics
Murray Capon: Hockey
Cherie Smith: Hockey
Doretha Joubert: Netball
Riaan Jordaan: Cricket
Wayne Stevens: Rugby
Karin Coetzee: Tennis
Willem Steenkamp: Tennis
Gabisele Hlumbane: Soccer
Lehlohonolo Mofokeng: Soccer
Prof. Martin Dednam: Devoted service to badminton
Sarah Shannon: Special merit award for participating in the Paralympics Games in Beijing

The guest speaker was Dr Derik Coetzee who was the head of Springbok Rugby Team’s conditioning during last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
23 October 2008
 

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