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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

Faculty of Law congratulated on 100 years of Iurisprudentia
2009-11-05

Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS and Prof. Barry Rider from the Jesus College at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
Photo: Stephen Collett

This year the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) is celebrating a century of excellence in legal education under the theme “Iurisprudentia 100”. A number of prominent leaders in the international legal arena congratulated the faculty on this milestone achievement.

Prof. Harry Rajak, Emeritus Professor from the Sussex Law School at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom communicated his heartiest congratulations to the faculty. “It has been my great privilege and pleasure to have had, for many years now, a close association with the Faculty of Law of the UFS. I have enjoyed several visits to the Law Faculty, during which I have benefited enormously from the vibrant intellectual, scholarly and extremely friendly atmosphere which you have all created, as well as from the enthusiasm and intelligence of your students. I look forward to the continuation for many more years of this important and fruitful connection,” he said.

Prof. Barry Rider from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the Jesus College at Cambridge University in the UK also congratulated and expressed his admiration towards the faculty. “The reputation for excellence in the teaching of law and in its scholarly research that your faculty has attained both in the Republic and internationally is a testament to the outstanding efforts and commitment of so many generations of scholars in Bloemfontein. I have been extraordinarily privileged to be associated with your faculty. The achievements of your faculty are truly impressive,” he said.

The faculty also received wishes of congratulations from Prof. Thomas Hurst, Research Scholar and Professor of Law from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in the United States of America. “The UFS has established itself as a world renowned leader in legal education,” he said.

Mr Anton Trichardt from Londsdale Chambers, Melbourne Australia also conveyed his best wishes to the faculty. “Your Faculty of Law has indeed been an example of excellence in legal education, training and research. The Centre for Business Law and its monograph series has been an unrivalled trend-setter in law,” he said.

Old Mutual also conveyed its wishes of congratulations.
 

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