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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

Inaugural lecture by Prof Kwandiwe Kondlo
2011-08-26

 

Present at the inaugural lecture of Prof Kwandiwe Kondlo were from the left: Prof. Lucius Botes, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities; Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo and Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs
Photo: Stephen Collett

Can the South African Communist Party (SACP) ever become a viable option for the ANC or has it become just a flat spare-tyre of the ruling party? Is there more to expect from the SACP or has it run full cycle? These are some of the questions that were brought up by Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo at his inaugural lecture at our university on 24 August 2011.

Prof. Kondlo, head of our Centre for Africa Studies, told the audience that the current SACP (unlike pre-1994) is a party in which theory and intellectual reflection were being eclipsed by politics of pragmatism and warned that self-interest and ambition have become a problem. Delivering his lecture on the topic The South African Communist Party and the Dilemma of the National Democratic Revolution in South Africa, 1994 to date, Prof. Kondlo warned that he may ruffle feathers amongst those with ideological commitments and said that as an intellectual it was his job to irritate.
 
Prof. Kondlo told the audience his lecture would re-open old debates telling them that old questions are making way to the fore, for example the nationalisation debate.
 
Please find Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo’s full inaugural lecture in the attached document. 

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