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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

Kovsie Alumni appeals to the community to support Prof. Jansen
2009-10-28

Kovsie Alumni expresses its shock and astonishment about the sharp criticism that Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), has been enduring since his inauguration as the 13th Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Prof. Jansen’s balanced speech at his inauguration was received with a standing ovation by the guests present. These guests were not only representative of the UFS community, but also of the broader South African society.

The memories of the illustrious inauguration event faded within days. Political opportunists who only criticise the Reitz announcement and do not contextualise the inaugural speech, contribute towards mass polarisation, distrust and suspicion. This stands in sharp contrast to Prof. Jansen’s message of reconciliation, unity and hope.

Prof. Jansen’s announcement that the consultation process has been re-opened is welcomed. Kovsie Alumni trusts that all role players, including the critics, would make constructive contributions. In the final instance, everybody should act in a remedial manner towards 9 persons whose lives have been changed irrevocably, namely 5 black workers and 4 white students.

Kovsie Alumni appeals to the community to support Prof. Jansen in his endeavours to remove obstacles in the way of making the UFS a world-class university. Former students, parents and other stakeholders must collectively accept the responsibilities that he has already identified.

Media release
Issued by: Naudé de Klerk
Chairperson: Kovsie Alumni
011 678 1988 / 082 551 3151
naude@edk.co.za  

Mauritz Randlhoff
Vice-Chairperson : Kovsie Alumni

Pule Molalenyane
Vice-Chairperson: Kovsie Alumni
28 October 2009

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