Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Leah Tutu - from a humble heritage to a matriarch of devotion
2013-10-18

 

Leah Tutu
18 October 2013

Photo Gallery
Leah Tutu Symposium: YouTube video

There are treasures in life, but owners are few
Of money and power to buy things brand new
Yet you can be wealthy and feel regal too,
If you will just look for the treasures in you …

The joy and the laughter, the smile that you bring;
The heart unafraid to love and to sing;
The hand always willing to help those in need;
Ones quick to reach out, to labour and feed.

So thank you for sharing these great gifts inside;
The caring, the cheering, the hug when one cried.
Thanks for the energy, encouragement too,
And thank you for sharing the treasures in you. (Author unknown)

With these words, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe embodied the celebration in honour of her mother, Leah Tutu.

On Thursday 17 October 2013, the Annual Intercontinental Leah Tutu Symposium was launched at the UFS’ Bloemfontein Campus. Dignitaries and students alike flocked to the Centenary Hall where friends and family shared their immense love and respect for Ms Tutu.

Approaching the podium, Eunice Dhadhla (co-founder with Ms Tutu of the Domestic Workers Union) started humming and in an instant the audience had risen to their feet and the words “My mother was a kitchen girl. My father was a garden boy. That’s why I’m a unionist”, reverberated through the hall.

“I am what I am today because of her,” Dhadhla said of Ms Tutu. They have walked a long hard road together to ultimately unite domestic workers across the globe. Stretching her small body to its full length, Dhadhla imparted one of the most valuable lessons she has learned from Ms Tutu, “Stop crawling, stand up and walk for yourself.”

As soon as Dr Sindiwe Magona – acclaimed writer and poet – ascended the stage, her energy rushed across the room with electrifying intensity. Her high regard for Ms Tutu as public icon as well as a mother, wife and friend, was palpable. Belting out line after line of a poem she wrote especially for Ms Tutu, the audience echoed their agreement in a mutual exchange.
No sooner were they seated, than Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prof Jonathan Jansen had the crowd roaring with laughter. Archbishop Tutu’s familiar chuckle peppered his story of how he came to propose to his wife. It was clear, though, how much he reveres Ms Tutu’s presence in his life. With enormous awe, he revealed her innate power, specifically during difficult times in our country’s past – from weathering death threats against her husband to public humiliation.

But despite adversity and heartache, in front of the Centenary Hall, this matriarch stood up and beamed joy into everyone present.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept