Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020 2021
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

Well-known alumni honoured
2013-10-24

 

From the left are: actor Hannes van Wyk, Judge Faan Hancke and his wife Benita at the Kovsie Alumni Awards.
Photo: Elmada Kemp
24 October 2013

The actor and film maker, Hannes van Wyk, known for his role as Krynauw du Boisson in the M-Net soapie Egoli, was named Kovsie Alumnus of the Year during the Kovsie Alumni Awards. He and six other former Kovsie students and staff were honoured at this gala event for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the UFS during 2012.

Van Wyk, who completed his BAEd in 1990 at the University of the Free State, was honoured for his contribution to, and development of the South African Film and Television industry. This includes his work as producer, writer, researcher and director of companies such as PACOFS, M-Net and the SABC.

The actor wasn’t the only person in the public eye to be celebrated at the event.

The well-known columnist, Hanlie Retief, who interviews the top newsmakers of the country every week for Rapport, was recognised with a Cum Laude Award. She was honoured in this category together with Paul Colditz, Chief Executive Officer of FEDSAS, the national representative organisation of governing bodies, and Judge Violet Phatshoane, founder of Phatshoane & Henney Attorneys and judge in the High Court of South Africa.

Hanlie told the audience that her degree from Kovsies opened doors for her. She spoke about the interview she had in those days with the athlete Zola Budd, her first story to be published in the university publication, Bult.

Prof Johan Willemse, who is internationally known as an agricultural economist, and Dr Philemon Akach, known for his contribution to the development of Sign Language on the continent, were bestowed with the Alumni Award for outstanding service to the UFS.

The Kovsie Ambassador Award was presented to Judge Faan Hancke, Extraordinary Professor in the Faculty of Law at the UFS. As a former Kovsie, he served more than 12 years as Council member during his career and is still involved with the Alumni Trust.

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