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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

Largest group of financial planners ever to graduate from UFS
2013-06-14

Stuart James Milroy and Gerda Grobler
Photo: Stephen Collett
14 June 2013

During this year’s graduation, the Centre for Financial Planning Law (CFPL) conferred the most diplomas ever for this sector at a graduation ceremony. Five hundred and ninety four students received diplomas (543 postgraduate diplomas in Financial Planning and 51 advanced postgraduate diplomas in Financial Planning).

Top student for the postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning, was Gerda Grobler. For the advanced postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning, Stuart James Milroy received the honour as top achiever. Other top achievers for modules in the advanced postgraduate diploma were L Phillips, RC Claassen, SJ Milroy and L Wilkinson. G Grobler, TT Baxter, KR Smit and E du Rand were the top achievers for modules in the postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning.

For five years, the University of the Free State was the only institution that offered a full qualification to become a certified financial planner. The university is still the largest institution in this field. The Centre for Financial Planning Law (CFPL) at the UFS is also the only institution in South Africa offering the advanced postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning as a purely specialist diploma.

To date, the CFPL at the UFS has awarded 4 200 postgraduate diplomas and 710 advanced postgraduate diplomas in Financial Planning.

Donors who made this event possible, include:

  • Alexander Forbes
  • Old Mutual
  • Liberty
  • Acsis
  • Momentum
  • LexisNexis
  • Galileo Capital
  • PSG
  • ABSA Bank

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