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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

Memorial lecture: Repositioning of the Free State Provincial Government
2005-08-29

The repositioning of the Free State Provincial Government to respond to the 21st century demands is the topic of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) JN Boshoff Memorial Lecture that takes place on campus next week.

The lecture will be delivered by Dr Charles Nwaila, Director-General of the Free State Provincial Government and Vice-Chairperson of the UFS Council and will take place on Thursday 8 September 2005 at 18:00 in the CR Swart Auditorium on campus.

The title of the lecture is Free State Government repositioning itself to respond to the 21st century demands with special focus on the human capital edge.

Dr Nwaila obtained his BA in 1984 at the University of the North, his BA Honors (English) in 1987 at Wits University, his MA (English) in 1990 at Durham University (UK) and D Litt (English) in 1997 from the University of Pretoria.  

Dr Nwaila is also Chairperson of the Forum of Heads of Departments, Governance and Administration and Secretary of the Executive Council.

Previously, Dr Nwaila was the Superintendent-General of the Free State Department of Education from 2002 to February 2005. Dr Nwaila also served in government as Chief Director in the Gauteng Department of Education. Dr Nwaila is highly experienced and his career includes serving as a headmaster in rural and urban schools, lecturer at the Soweto College of Education, and supervisor at ABET centres.

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Joan Nel at (051) 401-9301.

Media release

Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

29 August 2005

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