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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 Council supports Prof. Jansen
2009-10-26

Statement by Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS)

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) takes note of the current developments regarding the university, and specifically the controversy around the decision of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen and his management to grant re-admittance to the four students who were expelled in connection with the Reitz incident.

At its meeting of 11 September 2009, the Council had already unanimously expressed its support for Prof. Jansen with regard to the handling of various managerial issues, including that the way for mediation with regard to the legal process about Reitz had to be followed.

The Council remains unequivocally committed to the important process of transformation, and sees Prof. Jansen’s actions in the light of his intention to accomplish reconciliation and manage the larger process of transformation. The Council supports all active attempts to encourage reconciliation and accepts Prof. Jansen’s integrity and bona fides with regard to the handling of this issue.

The Council contents itself with the view that racism, and abusive actions of any nature whatsoever remain inexcusable.

The Council expresses its hope that all stake-holders will find a quick solution to the current dispute in order to ensure that activities on the Main Campus return to normal.

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  
26 October 2009

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