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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 honours more than 250 former students with national colours in sport
2007-11-01

The Kovsie Alumni Trust of the University of the Free State (UFS) will be honouring more than 250 former students who obtained national colours in various sporting codes over the years during a gala dinner on Saturday, 3 November 2007 on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

This will be the first time in the history of the UFS that so many sportsmen and women who studied at the UFS will be honoured for their achievements at the same time.

During Saturday’s dinner 100 of the 250 former students will be present to receive their special awards. This includes among others Springbok rugby players such as the brothers Eben and Joggie Jansen, Nelie Smit, Edrich Krantz, Theuns Stofberg, Jannie du Plessis, Meyer Bosman and Hendro Scholtz. Some of the sport stars in other sporting codes who will also be present include Hennie Pretorius for athletics; Stephen Brink and Heinrich Brüssow for Sevens Rugby; Frans Botma for under water hockey; Hannette Bruwer and Annarie Store for netball; Annette Bekker for hockey and Corrie van Zyl and Gerhardus Liebenberg for cricket.

Special mention will also be given to the first sportsman and woman at the UFS, namely Joggie Jansen and Annette Bekker.

During the ceremony the tenth year of the Kovsie Alumni Trust’s existence will also be celebrated. The Trust, who is the main sponsor of the Matriculant of the Year Award, offers financial aid to many underprivileged and disabled students to help them complete their studies and supplies bursaries to prospective students.

The awards will be handed over by Mr Harold Verster, President of the Free State Rugby Union, and Danie Niehaus will be the guest artist.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
31 October 2007
 

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