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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

SRC Reunion - 2005
2004-12-02

Dear Ex-SRC Member
Reunion 2005


The University of the Free State (UFS) is celebrating it centenary with the theme 100+. This celebration does not only focus on the past, but especially on the future for the next 100 years. The conclusion of the Centenary year will be held on 28 January 2005 together with Kovsie Day, a joint project with the UFS Centenary Festival, Student Representative Council and Rag, and includes a huge “Potjiekos” Festival. This closing function is, however, the beginning of the future festival which reaches its climax from 4–6 February 2005. During the weekend, an SRC Reunion will be held to which all ex-SRC members are personally invited.

The weekend program briefly includes the following:

Friday, 4 February 2004

09:00 Official opening of the University with a message by the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, prof. Frederick Fourie

11:00 A massive campus photo of all on campus

19:00 Through the night together with Rag.

Saturday, 5 February 2004

08:30 Champagne breakfast at the Thakaneng Bridge

10:00 Official attendance of the Rag Procession

19:00 SRC Dinner at the Centenary Festival Complex

Sunday, 6 February 2005

18:30 A special combined Dedication service at the Red Square (Rooiplein).

It will be a great privilege for the UFS to welcome all SRC members of the past 100 years. RSVP no later than 14 January 2005 to Nicolaas du Plessis. The costs will be indicated on the RSVP form.

N.B.: The UFS would be pleased to reach all ex-members. Should you be in contact with any other members, please send this information to them or contact me at the necessary contact numbers. For more information please contact me at 084 955 0875 or Elize Rall at 051-401 3382.

Please fax the RSVP form no later than 14 January 2004 to Nicolaas du Plessis at 051-447 7344 of e-mail information to: duplessisnf.rd@mail.uovs.ac.za

Nicolaas du Plessis

SRC Officer

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