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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 closes pedestrian entrances to improve safety on campus
2010-08-05

The University of the Free State (UFS) will remove pedestrian gates on its Main Campus in an extra effort to improve safety on this campus.

It was decided to implement this plan because the campus covers a huge area and people who are not part of the campus community hang around on the campus, sometimes causing damages. This idea is also strongly supported by students, in particular with regard to the removal of the pedestrian thoroughfares close to the hostels.

The following pedestrian gates will not be removed:

- The pedestrian thoroughfares on both sides of the DF Malherbe Gate (next to the Faculty of Health Sciences). Both the main gate and the pedestrian thoroughfares at the DF Malherbe Gate remain open 24 hours a day.
- The pedestrian thoroughfares at the Badenhorst Street Gate (close to Roosmaryn Residence). The Badenhorst Gate is not open 24 hours a day, but the pedestrian thoroughfare will remain open 24 hours a day.

The following pedestrian thoroughfares will be removed with effect from 1 September 2010:

- The pedestrian thoroughfare to the east of Pellies Park
- The pedestrian thoroughfare to the west of Pellies Park (directly behind JMB Hertzog Residence)
- The turnstile between the Kovsie Church and the Wynand Mouton Gate
- The pedestrian thoroughfare behind the tennis courts
- The pedestrian thoroughfares behind the rugby fields

A request was also directed at the Kovsie Church to close down the pedestrian thoroughfare between the Kovsie Church and the UFS. This gate will then be opened during church activities.

From 1 September 2010, the personnel of Security Services will regularly patrol the fences. Trespassers that flatten the fencing to enter the campus will be prosecuted.

Students, personnel and visitors are encouraged to make use of the main entrance gates of the UFS. These include the Main Gate (in Nelson Mandela Drive), the Wynand Mouton Gate (in DF Malherbe Drive), the DF Malherbe Gate (in Wynand Mouton Drive), the Badenhorst Street Gate (close to Roosmaryn Residence) and the Furstenburg Gate (in Furstenburg Road).

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za
5 August 2010

 

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