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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

ACUHO-I SAC chooses Bloemfontein Campus to host its first colloquium
2014-06-17

Mark Seale, Pieter Kloppers and WP Wahl (Assistant Director: Residence Life - UFS)

The Association of College and University Housing Officers - International; Southern Africa Chapter (ACUHO-I SAC) hosted its very first colloquium at our Bloemfontein Campus on 13 June 2014.

The theme revolved around the question: In which ways can practitioners in student housing assist to create an environment that is conducive to student development and success?

Mark Seale (ACUHO-I SAC: President and Director of Residential and Catering Services at the University of Western Cape) and Pieter Kloppers (ACUHO-I SAC: Research and Development and Director: Centre for Student Communities at the Stellenbosch University) were among those who addressed attendees.

Kloppers is also the pioneer of the standing committee idea, gathering experts in different fields of university residences and housing. “When it comes to university residences and housing, there are people specialising in different fields,” says Kloppers. “The idea is therefor to get these specialists together.”

For residence heads at Kovsies this was a wonderful and insightful experience. Residence Head of Kayalami men’s residence, Abel Jordaan, tweeted the following while attending the conference: “Meeting celebs in the field of Housing and Res Life today. Pieter Kloppers is a rock star and Mark Seale is the Neymar* of this field!” 
 
*Neymar is a Brazilian soccer player who was the top goal scorer in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup against Croatia.

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