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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

Lighting Roses through to finals in Netball Grand Series
2011-08-03

 

Claudia Basson of the Ligthning Roses and Nonthle Gwavu of the Black Diamonds in action during one of their matches earlier this year.
Photo: Jacques Cato from World of Sport Photography

The Lightning Roses – the Free State’s first netball team, and consisting of Kovsies and former Kovsies – went through to the finals, after they had won 14 of the 14 matches played across South Africa in the Netball Grand Series.

Supporters of this sport can diarise Saturday, 6 August to come and share in netball action as never experienced before.

The final match between the Lightning Roses and the Galaxy Blues (Gauteng North) will start at 12:00. Don’t miss this match. Admission is only R20 per ticket.

Other matches that take place earlier the morning, include the schools finals between Sentraal and Menlo Park (08:30-09:20) and the match between the Starlight Jets and the Black Diamonds.

All the matches will take place in the Callie Human Centre on our Bloemfontein Campus.

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