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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

During 2011: Sport
2011-12-01

Our sports stars set their gaols high and with hard work, dedication a good measure of determination they show that they will not give up until these goals are met. A place in the national team or a medal or award in hand is enough proof that our Kovsie sportsmen and women are serious about their successes on the sports field.

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Some of our stars this year were:

Athletics:

Thuso Mpuang, our Kovsie Sportsman of the year, represented South Africa during the World Athletic Championships in Deague, Korea. He obtained the silver medal in the 200m during the World Student Games in Shenzhen, China and a gold medal as a member of the 4 x 100m relay team.

Janette Siebert represented South Africa during the Southern Africa Championships in Maputo, Mozambique.

Boy Soke represented South Africa during the Africa Cross Country Championships in Cape Town. He also represented South Africa during the World Cross Country Championships in China.


Cricket:

The 21-year-old former Kovsie, Obus Pienaar, who was still playing cricket for our university club until the end of the season (end of March), has been playing abroad for the Irish cricket club Waringstown from the end of April 2011.
We are proud of Obus’ achievements, in particular his contribution to the match against the CIYMS. During this game, Obus hit the highest score ever in the Northern Cricket Unions when he scored 244 runs in only 114 balls. This included 22 sixes and 13 fours. During his innings in this match, Obus also broke the July 2004 record of his compatriot, AB de Villiers of the Proteas.


Hockey:

Lesley Ann George represented the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the series against China, Belgium and Azerbaijan. She was also a member of the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the Champs Challenge in Ireland. The team finished fifth.

Nicole de Vries represented the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the series against China, Belgium and Azerbaijan. She was also a member of the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the Africa Cup in Bulawayo. The team obtained a gold medal.

Hettie Oosthuizen represented the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the series against China, Belgium and Azerbaijan.

Izelle Lategan represented the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the series against China, Belgium and Azerbaijan.

Nicole Kemp was a member of the Protea Women’s Hockey Team during the Africa Cup in Bulawayo. The team obtained a gold medal.


Karate:

Elsabe le Roux was a member of the Protea JKA Shotokan Karate Team that participated in the Africa Zone 6 Championships in Maputo where she obtained a gold and silver medal.

Bruno Schwalbach was a member of the Protea JKA Shotokan Karate Team that participated in the Africa Zone 6 Championships in Maputo where he obtained two gold medals. He was also a member of the Protea JKA Shotokan Karate Team that participated in the Common Wealth Karate Championship in Australia where he obtained one silver and two bronze medals. He was a member of the Protea JKA Shotokan Karate Team that participated in the All Africa Games in Maputo Mozambique where he obtained a bronze medal.

Balungile Nchofe was a member of the Protea JKA Shotokan Karate Team that participated in the Africa Zone 6 Championship in Maputo, where he obtained a gold medal.


Netball:

Kovsies’ netball team has performed well over the past year with, amongst others, the inclusion of players in the SA Universities World-cup Group.

Karla Mostert and Maryka Holtzhausen participated during the World Cup in Singapore in the SPAR SA Protea team.

We are also proud of the eight players who have been included in the SA team. They are Zimari Smit, Sheri Duimpies, Ane Botha, Danique du Toit, Nieke Loubser, Karla Mostert, Fikile Mkhuzangwe and Lauren-lee Christians.

At the SA tournament, Ane Botha was named as the centre-court player of the tournament, whilst Karla Mostert was named as the best defending player. Karla has also been included in the SPAR SA Protea team to the All African Games, which start in Mozambique at the end of August.


Rugby:

Boom Prinsloo and Robert Ebershohn are representing the Springboks in the HSBC Sevens World Series.


Soccer:

Gabisile Hlumbane, our Kovsie Sportswomanof the year, is a member of the Banyana Banyana National Soccer Team. The team obtained a bronze medal at the African Women’s Championships during October 2010, a gold medal at the Unity Cup Hosted during December 2010, a silver medal at the COSAFA Women’s Championship hosted during July 2011 and qualified for the London Olympics in 2012.


Squash:

Paul Rodrigues represented the South African U/ 23 team at the All Africa Squash Championships in Johannesburg.


Triathlon:

Nelmaré Loubser represented the SA Elite Team during the World Championships in Spain.

 

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