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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

‘Many people disagree with me. My life is One Long Debate.’ – Ali A. Mazrui
2014-10-31



Prof Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Photo: Stephen Collet
The Vice-Chancellor and Rector, in conjunction with the Centre for Africa Studies, recently presented a memorial lecture in honour of the work and life of an academic giant, the late Prof Ali A. Mazrui.

Ali Al'amin Mazrui (24 February 1933 – 12 October 2014), was an academic professor and political writer on African and Islamic studies. Hy was born in Mombasa, Kenya and was an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities, as well as Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, New York.

The lecture, held on Thursday 30 October 2014 in the Albert Wessels Auditiorium, was presented by Prof Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Head of the Archie Mafeje Research Institute (AMRI) at UNISA.

His memorial lecture was entitled ‘Ali A Mazrui on the Invention of Africa and Postcolonial Predicaments’.

Prof Ndlovu-Gatsheni has published widely, including more than 47 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 45 chapters in books and 8 books. This includes The Ndebele Nation: Reflections on Hegemony, Memory and Historiography (Amsterdam & Pretoria: Rozenberg Publishers & UNISA Press, 2009), as well as Bondage of Boundaries and Identity Politics in Postcolonial Africa: The ‘Northern Problem’ and Ethno-Futures (Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa, 2013).

Prof Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni speech: ‘Ali A Mazrui on the Invention of Africa and Postcolonial Predicaments’.


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