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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

Kovsies wins the National Cricket Club Championships
2010-10-07

Kovsies who represented Free State at the National Club Championships were, from the left: Obus Pienaar, Patrick Botha, Wiann van Zyl and Juanre van Wyk.

The first cricket team of the University of the Free State (UFS) recently represented the Free State at the National Club Championships. Under the leadership of Rudi Steyn, Free State Provincial Coach, the team came out victoriously and brought back the trophy to the Free State for the first time in eleven years. The games were as follow:

Day 1: UV vs. Pretoria High School Old Boys (Northerns) – won by 17 runs
Day 2: UV vs. Burma Lads (Griqualand West) – won by 122 runs
Day 3: UV vs. Impala (North-West) – won by 3 wickets
Day 4: UV vs. Brackenfell (Boland) – won by 5 runs
Day 5: UV vs. Old Edwardians (Gauteng) – won by 5 wickets
Day 6: UV vs. Crusaders (KwaZulu-Natal) – won by 5 wickets

Three players, Juanre van Wyk, Obus Pienaar, and Patrick Botha, received Man of the Match Awards for games played during the week and Wiann van Zyl, Captain, received the award for the bowler of the tournament. Kovsies was the only team to end the week undefeated.
 

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