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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

Main Campus elects its first black SRC president
2009-08-22

 Mr Moses Masitha

Mr Moses Masitha, B.A. Philosophy student and SASCO candidate, is the first black President of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Student Representative Council (SRC) for the Main Campus.

The results for the SRC and Student Parliament of the UFS’s Main Campus were announced today after the elections, which took place on Wednesday, 19 August 2009. Mr Masitha was Vice-President (External) in 2007/2008.

This year, four organisations, namely SASCO, FF+ Kovsies, the DA and COPESM, took part in the elections. Altogether 6 174 students took part in the voting this year, while 6 926 students voted last year.

On the proportional representation SASCO obtained 48,2% votes, FF+ Kovsies 43%, the DA 5% and COPESM 3,8%.

The election was declared free and fair by Prof. Thomas Acho, Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Agency (IEA).

“The UFS management wishes to thank the IEA for the professional manner in which they independently managed the whole election process. The management will, as always, provide our full support to the efforts of the newly elected student leadership as well as the representatives of various student organisations in the realisation of the university’s objectives,” said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
21 August 2009


 

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