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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

UFS lodges appeal against judgment handed down on 12 September 2016 regarding its new Language Policy
2016-09-16

The University of the Free State (UFS) takes cognisance of the decision of the High Court in Bloemfontein on Monday 12 September 2016 in respect of the AfriForum and Solidarity application to halt the implementation of the UFS’ new Language Policy, pending the finalisation of the appeal process.

The legal advice received by the university management is that the 21 July 2016 judgment, with respect, errs in a number of areas and thereby sets legal precedent which is problematic. Furthermore, the Full Bench stated on Monday in a second application that they had been persuaded that compelling reasons existed that another court might come to a different decision, thereby granting the UFS leave to appeal the 21 July 2016 judgment.

The UFS has, under the circumstances, lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal against the order and reasons therefore handed down on 12 September 2016, which allows the implementation of its earlier judgment.

The UFS further intends to lodge an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the judgment of 21 July 2016, if direct access is not granted by the Constitutional Court, in order to protect its interests as well as the interests of its community.

Related articles:
Implications of new Language Policy for first-year students in 2017: 17 October 2016
UFS to proceed with appealing to Supreme Court of Appeal regarding new Language Policy: 29 September 2016
UFS to lodge application to appeal judgment about new Language Policy: 22 July 2016
High Court ruling about new UFS Language Policy: 21 July 2016
UFS Council approves a new Language Policy: 11 March 2016

 
Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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