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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’s Vishuis best residence rugby team in the country
2010-03-30

 
Steinhoff Vishuis, the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Champions for 2010.
Photo: Varsity Cup
 
Beyers Louw (with ball), left wing from Vishuis, is taken down in the finals of the Steinhoff Koshuis League agaisnt Dagbreek from Stellenbosch. Left are team mates Gerhard Meyer (No 8) and on the right is captain Jos de Klerk (flanker).
Photo: Varsity Cup

 
Boom Prinsloo from Shimlas.
Photo: Varsity Cup

 

On Monday, 29 March 2010, the University of the Free State’s (UFS) residence team in the Steinhoff Koshuis League, Steinhoff Vishuis, showed that they were the best university residence team in the country when they were crowned as the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Champions. Steinhoff Vishuis triumphed with 22-7 over the University of Stellenbosch’s Dagbreek. This match took place on the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

The hero of the match was left wing Beyers Louw, who scored two of his team's tries and kicked two conversions as well as a penalty. That left him with 97 points, the player who scored the most points in the tournament.

Shimlas’s Boom Prinsloo was also named player of the Varsity Cup. In three of Shimlas’s eight matches he was named player of the match. With the seven tries that Boom scored during the tournament, he and Lola Waka from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) were also jointly named as the top scorers in the tournament.

This is the second consecutive year that a Kovsie team wins the residence competition of the Varsity Cup. Last year Armentum carried the crown as the best residence rugby team in the country.

Well done. The UFS is proud of you!

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