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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

Centenary celebrations of Faculty of Law reach a highlight
2009-11-19

At the occasion were, from the left: the Honourable Judge Ian van der Merwe; the Honorable Judge Faan Hancke; former Judge of Appeal Joos Hefer; and Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) reached the highlight of its celebrations of a century of excellence in legal education, training and research under the theme “Iurisprudentia 100” at a gala dinner held on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein last week.

At this spectacular occasion Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty handed a Cum Laude award to Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the UFS Council and Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence. Judge Hancke is the fourth recipient of this award. Judge Hancke received the award for his excellent contributions towards the building of the Faculty of Law and the UFS.

According to Prof. Henning the faculty has a distinguished history of excellence in theoretical as well as practical education and training, which can be traced as far back as to the establishment of the Grey University College in 1904. During this modest beginning the seed was planted for the establishment of the Faculty of Law, which gained momentum when Bloemfontein became the judicial capital of South Africa in 1910.

Other highlights in legal education at the UFS include, amongst others, 1909 when Adv. Percy Fisher, a BA LLB graduate from the University of Cambridge became the first law lecturer to receive a permanent appointment. In 1918 the first LLB degrees were awarded to SP le Roux, later Minister of Agriculture, CR Swart, later Minister of Justice, Governor-General, State President and the first Chancellor of the UFS, and Walther Leinberger, an attorney in town.

In 1945 Law became an independent faculty and in 1948 the first full-time professor, Dr JP Verloren van Themaat was appointed. After Prof. Van Themaat, six deans followed before the appointment of Prof. Henning.

Over the last ten years the faculty has managed to build many international contacts with international leaders in the legal arena, including the Universities of London, Cambridge, Sussex, Tilburg, Kentucky, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Utrecht and Deacon.

The faculty prides itself on the fact that he has prepared many students as well as lecturers who later became presidents, ministers, administrators, judges of appeal, judges and rectors. The faculty has 95 staff members and 2 400 students, of which 1 800 are postgraduate students.

National as well as international leaders in the legal field congratulated the faculty on its 100-year celebrations. Messages of congratulations were also received from, amongst others, universities, legal practices and the government.

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  
18 November 2009
 

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