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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

Ladies smash competition to reign supreme
2017-03-09

Description:Stagedoor 2017   Tags: Stagedoor 2017   longdesc=

This year, the ladies from Roosmaryn and Sonnedou
walked away as the Stagedoor winners.
Photo: Johan Roux

This year, the first-years gave a show-stopping performance as they showed the audience how to make Stagedoor great again.

Hard work and sacrifice pays off

Let’s make Stagedoor great again was the theme behind this year’s Stagedoor production, which allowed all residences to get their creative juices flowing by bringing the theme to life in their own unique way.

Divine Bitalo, Roosmaryn RC Culture, said that they are honoured to have been crowned as the champions. “We put in a lot of hard work and sacrifice and we are just glad that everything worked out in the end.”

First-years given amazing platform

Teneal van Deventer, Sonnedou RC Culture, concurred with the words of Divine and also thanked the university for the opportunity. “I would like to thank Kovsies for giving our first-years this amazing platform to showcase their talents and make new friends.”

The Stagedoor finals, which took place on Saturday 4 March at Kovsie Church, saw our first-years battle it out to be crowned as this year’s winners and claiming the bragging rights for the year.

The winners were:

1st place: Roosmaryn and Sonnedou

2nd place: BeyCon (Beyers Naude and Conlaures)

3rd place: Marjolein and Legatum

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