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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 hockey achieves
2010-07-22

Gregg Clark

Three players from the University of the Free State (UFS) Womens Second Hockey Team, Theane Guthrie, Ayesha Samuels and Chantelle Deere, were selected for the South African Country Districts A Team. Theane, Ayesha and Chantelle played for Free State B Team when they participated in the recent SA Country Districts Hockey tournament. The Free State B Team also won the Tournament. 

Jason Klinkradt, coach of the UFS Womens Second Team, was also the coach for the Free State B Team.

Eight Kovsies were also included in the Free State Hockey Team that will participate in the National Interprovincial Hockey Tournament in East-London from 19-24 July 2010. The players are Lesley Ann George (captain), Berne van Wyk, Jo-Nelka Swanepoel, Felicia Shongwe, Orpah Pretorius, Cardeux Nel, Nicole Kemp and Hettie Oosthuizen. The Protea under-captain, Lesley Ann is the captain of the Free State Team. Elsie Coetzer, the Kovsie womens hockey coach, is also the coach of this team.

More news from Kovsie hockey is that the national mens coach, Mr Gregg Clark, presented a very successful training camp for the Free State womens and mens teams on the Kovsie Astros. The training camp was open to all Free State coaches and was amongst others attended by Elsie Coetzer and Des Donald, Kovsies mens hockey coach.

Mr Clark was also course leader at the hockey course for schools, attended by 900 learners, presented by the Kovsie Hockey club earlier this year, said Mr Frans van der Watt from KovsieSport.
 

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