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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

UFS announces its Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
2012-10-12

Here are, from the left: Raymond Rhule, Junior Sportsman of the year, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs, and Jamba Ulengo, Sportsman of the year. Izelle Lategan (Sportswoman of the year) and Tanya Brits (Junior Sportswoman of the year) was not present at the event.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
12 October 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) honoured its top achievers at a glamorous gala dinner in the Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on Thursday 11 October 2012. Jamba Ulengo and Izelle Lategan were named the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year respectively.

The Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman for 2012 are Raymond Rhule and Tanya Brits.

This year the university’s sport stars were honoured in five categories. This includes:

- Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year (everyone that represented South Africa at a senior level, was eligible for the title). The winners each received a trophy and each sportsman and sportswomen in this category were honoured with a medal.
- Junior sportsman and sportswoman of the year. The winners each received a trophy.
- Sport stars that represented South Africa at senior and junior level. The achievers received certificates.
- Sport stars that represented the UFS in the national student teams. The sport stars also received certificates.
- Certificates were also awarded to the KovsieSport club sport stars.

The following students represented South Africa at senior level:

- Nardus Greyling. He represented the SA Athletics Team in the Confederation of African Athletics Senior Championship.
- Boy Soke. He represented the SA Athletics Team in the Confederation of African Cross-country Championship
- Izelle Lategan. She represented the Investec SA Women’s Hockey Team in the Champs Challenge in Dublin, Ireland, in Holland and Belgium and she played for the SA U/21 team against Spain and Belgium. She was also captain of the SA U/21-team during the senior interprovincial championships.
- JVA Steytler. He represented the SA Athletics Team in the Confederation of African Athletics Senior Championship.
- Johan Cronjé. He represented the SA Athletics Team as a 1 500 m finalist in the Confederation of African Athletics Senior Championship. He also participated in the Dessau International meeting in Germany and the Grand Prix meeting in Prague.
 

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