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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 beat Maties
2011-02-01

Captain Willie Britz in action duringthe Shimlas’s battle against the Maties
- Photo: Van Zyl Naudè

The second game in the FNB Varsity Cup season ended on a high note for Kovsies’ Shimlas when the try of no. 14, Jamba Ulengo, brought the score against Maties to 21-15. With this game, expected to be the toughest in the season, Shimlas exceeded many expectations.

Dougie Heymans, Team manager for the Shimlas was very excited about the team’s achievements against the Maties. “Everybody knew the guys can play; last week they put unnecessary pressure on themselves.” The team’s excellent defence against the Maties – who is known for their great forward’s game – was the deciding factor in this second game of the season.

Jaco Colyn, who played flyhalf, was announced as man of the match.

Not only did the players play better than last Monday; more enthusiastic students and other supporters from the university community also came to support the Shimlas. With this Madelief was announced as the residence that revealed the best Kovsie spirit, winning themselves a flatscreen television set to the value of R5 000.

Next Monday Shimlas will play against the team of the University of Johannesburg at the UJ Stadium.
 

 

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