Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Reconciliation ceremony brings a closure to the Reitz incident
2011-02-08

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the University of the Free State (UFS)
are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the Equality Court complaint against the four
former UFS students for their recording and dissemination of a video which demeaned and
humiliated five university workers in 2007.

The closure of the complaint culminated tonight in a moving reconciliation ceremony held on the
Main Campus of the UFS in Bloemfontein. The key event of the evening included the reading of
messages of apology from Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector, on behalf of the institution, and Mr
Danie Grobler, on behalf of the former students; and a message of acceptance of the apologies
from Ms Emmah Koko on behalf of the workers.

Deputy Chairperson of the SAHRC Commissioner, Pregs Govender, said of this historic event:
“The courage and compassion shown by the workers together with the students’ willingness to
embrace the spirit of change have enabled a process of justice, transformation and reconciliation
that is an inspiring example for South Africa. The process, led by Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-
Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, whose term began just after this incident, has laid a significant
foundation for the future. It is significant, not just for this university, but for all educational
institutions, including schools.”

“The ceremony of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation represents a historic event – not only for
our campus, but also for the country. It lays the groundwork for building a new university culture and
climate. “Reitz” hurt all of us, and we can finally close the book on the past and rebuild our
institution to be a truly non-racial university where we respect each other, first and foremost, for our
common humanity,” said Prof. Jansen.

Messages from among others former President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond
Tutu, and the Presidency, were also read.

The day started off with a seminar on reconciliation, hosted by the SAHRC, UFS and the Mangaung
Local Municipality. Former Chief Justice Pius Langa was the keynote speaker at this event. Other
participants in the seminar included Mr Lawrence Mushwana, Chairperson of the SAHRC; Mr Wally
Serote from the Freedom Park; and Mr John Samuel, Director of the International Institute for
Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice at the UFS.


Media Release
25 February 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

 

 

 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept