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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

Prof. Strauss' book is launched
2010-08-18

 
At the launch were, from the left: Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the UFS; Prof. Pieter Strauss; and Wikus van Zyl, Manager: SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein.

Kerk en orde vandag: Met die klem op die NG Kerk was recently launched at a function in the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Prof. Pieter Strauss, Head of the Department of Church History and Polity at the UFS is the author of this book that is published by SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein.

The objective of the book is to provide the reader with an introductory view on the reformed church law. Therefore it concentrates on themes that are spread across the entire spectrum of the reformed church law.

The book endeavours to provide relevant background information for all the articles of the Church Order of the Dutch Reformed Church, but is not exhaustive in this regard. Prof. Strauss refrained from only writing about existing articles as positivist church law on purpose. He wanted to make more of the background, introductory questions and particularly a normative church law.

According to Prof. Andries le Roux du Plooy from the Faculty of Theology at the North-West University, Prof. Strauss gave evidence that he was experienced and excellently informed about all the themes and topics, had personal experience thereof, and that he could write critically and apologetically about it.

“I want to congratulate Prof. Strauss on the publication. To my mind, there are few other theologians that will be able to write about the topic in such a way with emphasis on the DR Church,” said Prof. Du Plooy.



 

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