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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

Heinrich Brüssow named as Kovsie Alumnus of the Year
2010-08-19

Ms Jackie Ntshingila  Prof. Teuns Verschoor  Prof. Benito Khotseng  Heinrich Brüssow 

The Alumni of the University of the Free State (UFS) have named Heinrich Brüssow as the Kovsie Alumnus of the Year for 2009.

At the same time, Ms Jackie Ntshingila, the Provincial Manager of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), will receive the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award, while the Executive Management Award will be awarded to Prof. Teuns Verschoor, acting Senior Vice-Rector at the UFS, and Prof. Benito Khotseng. These awards, which are made annually to honour alumni of the UFS for their exceptional achievements and contributions to the university, will be awarded on Friday, 3 September 2010.

Heinrich is currently one of the most formidable Free State Cheetahs players. During the international Super 14 Competition he was a pillar of strength for his team in many respects. He was one of the outstanding players in the match between the Springboks and the Lions. He has established himself in the triumphant Springbok team as one of the definite choices. He received the Man-of-the-Match award in the Springboks’ victory over the All Blacks on 25 July 2009, as well as the awards as the Provincial Player of the Castle SA 2009 Tournament, the SA Rugby Young Player of the Year 2009 and the 2009 Sports24 Performer of the Month.

Ms Ntshingila will receive the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award for her role in the business development sector in the Free State and particularly the empowerment of women in the business sector. Her constructive inputs on various committees have lead to the outstanding role that she has played to expand SEDA in the Free State from 1 to 56 members and five branches during a relatively short period.

Prof. Verschoor will receive an Executive Management Award for the tremendous role he has played in many student matters, research, transformation and other university matters. Recognition is also given to the role that he fulfilled as acting Rector of the university during 2008-2009. In this he has emphasised his passion and commitment towards the university. In 2004 he received a Centenary Medal for management, diversity and student transformation.

Prof. Khotseng will receive an Executive Management Award for his influential and leading role during the 1990s, when the UFS was established as an outstanding institution. Prof. Khotseng played a leading and influential role as Vice-Rector: Student Affairs. He has served on the UFS Council from 1993 and in 1994 he accepted the position as Senior Manager: Strategic Programmes at Kovsies. He managed transformation and the marketing of the university in the black community with distinction. In 1995 he helped to diffuse the conflict in residences and to create a culture of learning. With the help of the Multicultural and Transformation Committees he taught persons to respect and understand one another. In 2004 he also received a Centenary Medal. 

The coveted Kovsie Alumni Awards will be handed over at a Kovsie Alumni breakfast. All alumni are welcome at the breakfast which will take place in the Reitz Hall of the UFS Centenary Complex. The cost is R50 per person and includes a delicious breakfast. If you are interested in attending, please contact Annanda Calitz at 051 401 3382 or ficka@ufs.ac.za  
 
Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za
19 August 2010

 

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