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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

Top ‘political analyst’ for Spring graduation
2013-09-15

Graduands and parents can prepare themselves for an exciting Spring graduation, with a top ‘political analyst’ and a young woman who sees and sings with her soul, as guest speakers.

Chester Missing, South Africa’s top puppet political commentator, and Shenley Pretorius, a blind singer, will address the more or less 650 graduands on Thursday 19 September 2013. 

A total of 544 bachelors and honours degrees, as well as 106 diplomas and certificates, will be awarded during the graduation ceremony in the Callie Human Centre at the Bloemfontein Campus. The qualifications will be awarded at two ceremonies.

Chester Missing, a presenter on the television programme, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola, will be 'accompanied' by Conrad Koch, one of South Africa’s most in demand comedy talents.

The 15-year-old Shenley touched people’s hearts nationwide when she appeared on Noot vir Noot, the SABC2 music programme, earlier this year. The teenager is a Grade 9 learner at Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired in Pretoria.

The programme for the different ceremonies is as follows:

  • 09:30 The Faculty of the Humanities awards 160 qualifications, The Faculty of Education 71 qualifications, the Faculty of Law 27 qualifications and the Faculty of Theology 2 qualifications.
  • 14:30 The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences awards 137 qualifications, the Faculty of Health Sciences 98 qualifications and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 155 qualifications.

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