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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

Johan Cronjé and Lesley-Ann George; UFS Sports Stars of the Year
2010-10-22

Johan Cronjé and Lesley-Ann George, the UFS’s Sportsman and Sportswoman of 2010.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
 Junior sport stars: Prof. Teuns Verschoor (middle), Acting Senior Vice-Rector with the UFS's,Junior Sport Stars of the Year: Philip van der Walt (Rugby) and Fikile Mkhuzangwe (Netball).
Photo: Kabelo Tlhabanelo
 
Kovsie Sports Woman of the Year candidates are from the left: Nelmaré Loubser (Triathlon and Duathlon), Lesley-Ann George (Hockey) and Tanya Basson (Judo). 
Photo: Kabelo Tlhabanelo
 
Kovsie Sportman of the Year candidates are from the left: Thuso Mpuang (Athletics), Philip van der Walt (Rugby), Boom Prinsloo (Rugby), Bruno Schwalbach (Karate), Johan Cronjé (Athletics), and Windy Jonas (Athletics).
Photo: Kabelo Tlhabanelo

KovsieSport at the University of the Free State (UFS) honoured its top sports achievers during a prestige dinner in die Centenary Complex on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein last night. The Kovsie Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year were also announced at this event.

Johan Cronjé was named the Sportsman of the Year. He represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships. He was also invited to participate in the Grand Prix Athletics Championships in Europe. Currently Johan also holds the 38th position on the world-ranking list for the best achievement in the 1 500 m.

Lesley Ann George was named as the Sportswoman of the Year. She is a member of the South African Women’s Hockey Team which participated in the Hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games. At the last event this team came fourth. She is also a member of the South African Women’s Hockey Team that participated in China. Lesley-Ann is also the Vice-Captain of the South African Women’s Hockey Team.

Lesley Ann furthermore made history; she is the first black UFS athlete who has been named as a Kovsie Sportswoman of the Year.

Philip van der Walt (rugby) and Fikile Mkhuzangwe (netball) was named as the Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.

According to Mr Frans van der Watt from KovsieSport at the UFS, this was the largest attendance of supporters ever who attended this event during which the UFS honoured its international sports stars.

Sport stars and supporters alike were all inspired by the guest speaker of the evening, Mr Bruce Walsh, a victim of a bomb explosion in Planet Hollywood in 1998, to be winners at a physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual level.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
22 October 2010
 

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