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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 Council elects new Chairperson
2017-01-27

Description: Mr Willem Louw and Nthabeleng Rammile Tags: Mr Willem Louw and Nthabeleng Rammile

Mr Willem Louw, new Chairperson of the Council
of the University of the Free State, and Dr Nthabeleng
Rammile, new Vice-Chairperson.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) elected Mr Willem Louw as the new Chairperson during a special meeting on Friday 20 January 2017. He was Vice-Chairperson of the Council since 13 March 2015. Dr Nthabeleng Rammile was elected Vice-Chairperson at the same meeting, making her the first woman in the history of the university elected to this position.

The election of Mr Louw comes after the announcement by Justice Ian van der Merwe at a Council meeting on 2 December 2016 that he will be stepping down as Chairperson on 31 December 2016.

Mr Louw has served on the Council since 11 September 2009 and was elected as member of the Executive Committee of the Council on 18 November 2011. He furthermore serves on the Council’s subcommittees for Audit and Risk Management, and Honorary Degrees.

In accepting his election as Chairperson, Mr Louw said that he appreciates the trust Council has bestowed on him. “It is a privilege and honour to lead Council and I look forward to the challenge. With the support of Dr Rammile and the rest of the Council, I endeavour to ensure that the university management is assisted in the governance of the university and that the Council plays its governance role fully at all times,” he said.

“The UFS is privileged to have Mr Louw and Dr Rammile leading its Council at such a crucial time in the South African higher-education sector. Their combined experience will be of great benefit to the university community,” said Prof Nicky Morgan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Mr Louw is an Associate of the Transnet Centre for Business Management of Projects at the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a non-executive Director of Group Five Limited. He was previously Managing Director of the technology business unit and a member of Group Management at Sasol, where he worked from 1985 until 2011. He is a member of the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions and a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering. Mr Louw received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Stellenbosch University and his MDP (Management Development Programme in Project Management) from UNISA. He is currently enrolled for a PhD in Business Management and Administration at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Dr Rammile has served on the Council as representative of the religious communities since 1 January 2016. She is also member of the Council subcommittees for Audit and Risk Management, and Naming. She obtained a PhD in Brand Management at the UFS, where she also lectured in the Department of Business Management from 2003 to 2014. She is a pastor at Global Reconciliation, where she is responsible for women’s ministry, community outreach projects, and multimedia.

Mr Louw will serve as Chairperson of Council until 31 December 2018, and Dr Rammile will serve as Vice-Chairperson until 12 March 2018.

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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