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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

Inauguration: Download speeches and media releases
2009-10-17

Speeches

  • Verklaring van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Viserektor: Akademiese Bedryf (Afrikaans)
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  • Declaration by the University of the Free State Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Academic Operations (English)
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  • E Balwa ke Profesara Teuns Verschoor, Motlatsa Morektoro: Botsamaisi ba Dithuto (Sesotho)
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  • Bekendstelling van Prof. Jonathan D Jansen - Regter Faan Hancke, Voorsitter van die UV-Raad (Afrikaans)
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  • Introduction of Prof. Jonathan D Jansen - Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the UFS Council (English)
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  • Ho tsebiswa ha Profesara Jonathan D Jansen - Moahlodi Faan Hancke, Modulasetulo wa Lekgotla la Yunivesithi ya Freistata (Sesotho)
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  • Inhuldigingstoespraak van die 13de Rektor en Visekanselier van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat (UV) Vir ’n tyd soos hierdie - Prof. Jonathan D Jansen (Afrikaans)
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  • Inaugural speech of the 13th Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), For such a time as this - Prof. Jonathan D Jansen (English)
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  • Thuto ya Tlhomamiso ya Motlatsa Mokanseliri ebile e le Rektoro ya bo 13 ya univesithi ya Freistata. Bakeng sa nako e kang - ena Jonathan D Jansen (Sesotho)
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Media Releases

  • “Ons maak nou die boek oor Reitz toe,” sê nuwe UV Rektor (Afrikaans)
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  • “We are closing the book on Reitz,” says new UFS Rector (English)
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  • “Re kwala buka ka Reitz” ho realo Morektoro ya motjha wa UFS (Sesotho)
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  • Nuwe Rektor kondig verandering in koshuise aan (Afrikaans)
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  • New UFS Rector announces changes to residences (English)
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  • New UFS Rector announces changes to residences (Sesotho)
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  • “Onbeskaamd elitisties,” sê nuwe UV Rektor oor visie vir Kovsies (Afrikaans)
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  • “Unashamedly elitist,” says new UFS Rector of vision for Kovsies (English)
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  • “Ha re itshwabele ka bokakalope” ho realo Morektoro ya motjha wa UFS Rector ka pono bakeng sa Kovsies (Sesotho)
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