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

Kovsie archer aims for 2016 Olympics
2014-04-24


Sariça Coetzee

For some of us, archery is just something we see on film and television, like in the Hunger Games movies or on the Arrow TV series. Sariça Coetzee, a first-year BA Psychology and Criminology student, however, is almost like South Africa’s very own Katniss Everdeen.

Sariça recently won two gold medals in the division for Junior Women at the South African National Archery Association’s (SANAA’s) National Archery Championships. With the qualifying heats taking place next year, the Olympic Games of 2016, which is just around the corner, is beckoning her.

“I am working hard to get there and would love to go,” says Sariça.

“I train on a regular basis with Riaan Schoeman from Kovsies’ Exercise and Sport Sciences, in order to improve my technique and strength.”

Sariça’s training includes shooting at targets and spending time in the gym.

“I spend about three hours per day, four days a week, on training. In archery it is crucial to be able to keep your body stable when the wind is blowing.”

Sariça, who matriculated at Sentraal High School in Bloemfontein, stared with archery seven years ago.

“We drove past Old Grey’s archery club and I just wanted to do it as well,” she says.

“I begged my parents for almost a year to let me do it. They thought it was just a passing fancy, but I really developed a passion for the sport and had a feeling for archery from the beginning.”

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