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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

Democracy and political tolerance truly thrive during Qwaqwa Campus SRC elections
2016-09-16

Description: 2017 SR Qwaqwa  Tags: 2017 SR Qwaqwa

The newly-elected SRC President of the Qwaqwa
Campus, Njabulo Mwali (left), being congratulated
by his predecessor, Paseka Sikhosana.
Ph
oto: Thabiso Gamede

Voter turnout during the recent SRC elections among the best in the country at over 60%

The 2016-2017 Qwaqwa Campus SRC elections have once again proven that democracy and political tolerance are truly thriving on the Qwaqwa Campus. This was evidenced by the calm surrounding the highly contested elections ever.

According to Mandla Ndlangamandla, Electoral Committee Chairperson, this year’s elections were highly contentious, yet with a high level of tolerance.

"We only had two political structures, namely the South African Democratic Student Movement (Sadesmo) and the South African Student Congress (Sasco), but the level of engagement was really commendable,” he said.

“Of the 4 200 registered students on campus, more than 2 500 cast their votes in their quest to influence student leadership and governance to advance student aspirations," said Ndlangamandla during the handover ceremony.

In accepting the leadership baton from his predecessor, Paseka Sikhosana, the new President, Njabulo Mwali, said his immediate goal was to unite all students behind the new leadership.

In acknowledging the role student governance can play in developing the campus, the Acting Campus Principal, Teboho Manchu, said the campus was proud to have a student leadership that would always keep the interests of their constituency on top of their agenda.

“We will definitely work hand-in-hand with the new student government. In case of any disagreements, please note that you have the right to take up any such matters with the top management of the university in order to advance the entire student body,” he added.

The 2016-2017 Qwaqwa Campus SRC is as follows:

LIST OF SRC MEMBERS 2016-2017

Elective Portfolios

 

Name and Surname

Portfolio

Njabulo Mwali

President General

Siyabonga Ngubo

Deputy President

Joy Mapule Motloung

Secretary General

Bongela Nyandeni

Treasurer General

Mpumelelo Tshabalala

Politics and Transformation

Nomcebo Mqushulu

Media and Publicity

Ntokozo Michael Masiteng

Student Development and Environmental Affairs

   

Ex Officio Portfolios

 

Khulani Mhlongo

Arts and Culture

Polaki Mazibuko

Academic Affairs

Ntokozo Mbali Thango

Sports Affairs

Motlatsi Lisley Lebona

Religious Affairs

Sandile Ntamane

Residence Affairs

Itumeleng Chefter

RAG Comm. and Dialogue

Thulebona Thomas Khumalo

Off-campus

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