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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

Council approves two senior appointments
2012-03-13

 

Dr Choice Makhetha and Prof. Hendri Kroukamp
13 March 2012

 

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Choice Makhetha as Vice-Rector: External Relations, and Prof. Hendri Kroukamp as Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

Both appointments were approved on Friday 9 March 2012 by the UFS Council during its quarterly meeting at the Bloemfontein Campus.
 
“Dr Makhetha is an experienced administrator in higher education and has spent time shadowing the Presidents of Harvard and Spelman Universities in the USA, where she gained invaluable experience in positioning universities for world-class impact,” said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.
Her portfolio will entail external linkages, partnerships and strategic alliances of the university with national and international stakeholders.
Previously, Dr Makhetha was the Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor. Before that she was acting Dean: Student Affairs, also at the UFS. She has served as acting Vice-Rector: External Relations since February 2011.  
 
Dr Makhetha obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science from the UFS in 2000 and a Ph.D., also in Political Science, in 2003. She was named the UFS’s Dux student for 1998/99. Dr Makhetha has received many awards for her work and she serves on various boards and committees in South Africa and abroad.
 
In 2010 and 2011 she was a fellow at Harvard University and Spelman College as part of Higher Education South Africa (HESA)’s Higher Education Leadership and Management programme.
 
“Prof. Kroukamp is a distinguished academic in the field of Public Administration and a highly experienced manager and leader of academic departments. He has been serving as acting Dean of his faculty since September 2010,” said Prof. Jansen.
 
Prof. Kroukamp holds a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Public Administration from Stellenbosch University and an M.A. degree from the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE). In 1993 he obtained a qualification in Project Management from the World Bank. He completed a D.Phil. in Public Administration at UPE in 1996, where he was a lecturer. Prof. Kroukamp joined the UFS in 1999 as a professor and Chairperson of the Department of Public Management.
 
He is the referee of various national and international publications, serves on various publication boards and is a member of various national and international boards and committees.
 
Prof. Kroukamp, who is a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated researcher, has received many NRF awards. Amongst these are NRF Overseas International Conference Awards in Turkey, Korea, Poland and France. He has also received a UFS Top Research Award in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
 
Both appointments apply retrospectively on 1 March 2012.
 

Media Release
13 March 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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