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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

Law Faculty to host symposium on corruption in the public sector
2014-06-03

Programme of symposium (pdf)

The Centre of Business Law at the UFS’s Faculty of Law will host a symposium on corruption with specific focus on the public sector.

The theme for this year’s symposium stemmed from the National Planning Commission’s emphasis on strengthening accountability and fighting corruption in South Africa. This was identified as a priority and a critical action area in the National Development Plan of 2011.

The Public Protector of South Africa, Adv Thuli Madonsela, will deliver the keynote address. Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, will deliver the opening address.

Other high-profile speakers to appear at this event are:

• The Honourable Mr Justice FDJ Brand, Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal of the Republic of South Africa;
• The Honourable Mr Justice SPB Hancke, Judge of the Free State High Court;
• Prof JJ Henning, Distinguished Professor and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Law;
• The Honourable Mr Justice A Kruger, Judge of the Free State High Court;
• Dr Johan Burger, Senior Researcher, Crime and Justice Programme, Institute for Security Studies;
• Mr Willie Hofmeyr, Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, South Africa and Head of Asset Forfeiture Unit; and
• Mr Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Journalist at the Sunday Times investigations unit.

Date: Thursday 5 June 2014
Venue: CR Swart Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
Time: 08:30-16:00
RSVP: Dr  Adri du Plessis by duplessisa@ufs.ac.za

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