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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

And the Best Managed Residence is…
2014-10-27


As examinations draw near and the end of the year is around the corner, residences want to know who the best of the best is.

During the 2014 Residence Awards on 22 October, the UFS announced their best managed residences of the year at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Wag-’n-Bietjie walked away with the spoils of the evening, winning both best managed female residence, and best managed residence overall. Armentum claimed the title of best managed male residence, while Sonnedou was named as the best managed day residence.

Further results for overall best managed residences and other categories are as follows:

Best Managed Residence
Male Residences:

  1. Armentum
  2. JBM Hertzog
  3. Karee

Female Residences:

  1. Wag-‘n-Bietjie
  2. Roosmaryn
  3. Soetdoring

Day Residences:

  1. Sonnedou
  2. Imperium
  3. Marjolein

Overall Ranking:

  1. Wag-‘n-Bietjie
  2. Armentum
  3. Roosmaryn

College
  1. South College (Armentum, Emily Hobhouse, Marjolein, NJ vd Merwe, Villa Bravado)
  2. East College (Arista, JBM Hertzog, Kayalami, Roosmaryn, Legatum, Sonnedou)
    and North College (Madelief, Tswelopele, Vergeet-my-Nie, Veritas, Welwitschia)
  3. Central College (Akasia, Kagiso, Karee, Soetdoring, Wag-‘n-Bietjie)
    and West College (Abraham Fischer, Conlaurês, Imperium, Kestell, Outiniqua)

Environmental Affairs
Male Residences:     JBM Hertzog
Female Residences:  Wag-‘n-Bietjie
Day Residences:        Sonnedou
Overall Winner:           Sonnedou

Diversity
Male Residences:                               JBM Hertzog
Female Residences:                          Akasia 
Day Residences:                                Arista
Best Improved Male Residence:         Villa Bravado
Best Improved Female Residence:    Kestell
Overall winner:                                    Akasia

Executive Portfolios
Male Residences:                               Tswelopele
Female Residences:                          Wag-‘n-Bietjie
Day Residences:                                Imperium
Best Improved Male Residence:         Tswelopele
Best Improved Female Residence:    Marjolein
Overall Winner:                                   Imperium

Academics
Male Residences:                               Outeniqua
Female Residences:                          Wag-‘n-Bietjie
Day Residences:                                Imperium
Best Improved Male Residence:         Imperium
Best Improved Female Residence:    Marjolein
Overall Winner:                                   Wag-‘n-Bietjie

Finance
Male Residences:                               Armentum
Female Residences:                          Roosmaryn
Day Residences:                                Imperium
Best Improved Male Residence:         Villa Bravado
Best Improved Female Residence:    Kestell
Overall Winner:                                   Armentum

Culture
Male Residences:                               Abraham Fischer
Female Residences:                          Wag-‘n-Bietjie
Day Residences:                                Sonnedou
Best Improved Male Residence:         Armentum
Best Improved Female Residence:    Akasia
Overall Winner:                                   Wag-‘n-Bietjie

Sport
Male Campus and Day Residences:           Armentum
Female Campus and Day Residences:      Wag-‘n-Bietjie
Best Male RC Sport:                           Armentum
Best Female RC Sport:                      Sonnedou

First-Years
Male Residences:                                                       Armentum 
Female Residences:                                                  Welwitschia
Day Residences:                                                        Sonnedou
Best Improved Male and Female Residence:            ConLaurês and Outeniqua
Overall Winner:                                                           Armentum

Prime
Male Residences:                               Tswelopele
Female Residences:                          Wag-‘n-Bietjie
Day Residences:                                Arista
Best Improved Male Residence:         Tswelopele
Best Improved Female Residence:    Arista
Overall Winner:                                   Tswelopele

Social
Overall Winner:                                   Karee
Best Improved Residence:                 Kestell

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