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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 presents Trust and Estate Planning Seminar
2010-10-04

At the seminar were, from the left: Mr James Faber, Centre for Planning Law; Mr Marius Botha, independent trainer in Financial Planning; Willie van der Westhuizen, Trust and Estate specialist, Millers Attorneys; Mr Louis van Vuren from B.O.E.; Ms Shirly Hyland, Centre for Financial Planning Law; Mr Kenneth Mould, Centre for Estate Planning Law; and Dr Bradley Smith, Department of Private Law.
 
The Centre for Estate Planning Law, in collaboration with the Centre for Financial Planning Law at the University of the Free State (UFS), recently presented their second Trust and Estate Planning Seminar.

This seminar was presented with the aim to convey new developments in the area of the law of succession, trust law and estate law in a practical manner to the public, as well as do research about relevant aspects of these disciplines. Prof. Willie van der Westhuizen, Trust and Estate specialist from Millers Attorneys was a speaker at the event and he discussed the topic, “Are trusts still useful and can it work for the advisor?”

Mr Marius Botha, independent trainer in Financial Planning, did a presentation on “The effect of abolishment of estate duty on financial planning needs”. Mr Louis van Vuren from BoE, main sponsor of the seminar, ended the afternoon with the topic “A gentle reminder of the general pitfalls in estate planning, will-drafting, estate and trust administration”.

Planning for next year’s Trust and Estate Law Colloquium, as well as has Prof. Willie van der Westhuizen’s annual Trust Law Seminar, has already started.

The seminar was attended by 90 financial planners and practising attorneys.

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