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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 acknowledge 53 for long service
2004-11-03

Long service awards for 35 years: Mrs. Christa du Plessis, Centre for Higher Education studies and Development, mnr. John Moorosi, Soil- and Crop- and Climate Sciences , prof. Frederick Fourie, rector, prof. Jopie Botha, Institute for Groundwater Studies, me. Susan Reineke, Plant Sciences, Dr. Sarie van Vuuren of Sociology and me. Aletta de Klerk, Kovsie Sport.

Fifty three personnel members received long service awards in the centenary year of the university for respectively 35 years of service and 25 years of service.

Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector, said to the recipients of the long service awards: “In a year in which the writing of history of the UFS took a prominent place in the Centenary celebrations and in which one relived the past hundred years, the value we add to the university on a daily basis is clearly visible. Many personnel members contributed to make the UFS a valued institution and will proceed to do that in the spirit of 100+.”

He thanked and acknowledged personnel for the plus they add to each day’s work. “The students which enter the UFS each year, want to thank you for an university which on an innovative manner impacted their lives. “You helped to create the building blocks for their future,” he said.

Prof. J. F. Botha, Mr M.G. Botha, Ms A. De Klerk, Mr M.J. Doman, Prof. H.C. Janse van Rensburg and Ms S.M.C. Reinecke received awards for 35 years of service.

For 25 years of service at the university Prof. S.L. Barnard, Mr B. Botma, Dr H. J. Breytenbach, Dr M.W. Brussow, Mr N.L. Combrink, Ms A.J. Du Plessis, Ms C. Du Plessis, Prof. L. Goedhals, Mr M.E. Hlazo, Prof. B.B. Hoek, Dr S.J.E. Janse van Vuuren, Mr M. Kgasane, Ms A. Kgosi, Dr W.P. Konig, Dr P.A.L. Le Roux, Prof. N.J. Luwes, Dr N. Luyt, Ms S.E. November, Ms M. Mabaso, Ms M.K. Maruping, Prof. J.D. Marx, Mr J.P. Masedi, Mr G. Mokapane, Mr J. Mokapane, Ms M.L. Molosi, Ms M.M. Molwagale, Mr P.J. Moorosi, Ms C. Moroagae, Ms E. Moroale, Mr G.G. Mothokwane, Prof. M. Mulder, Prof. A.C. Otto, Ms H. Pelser, Ms E. Pelzer, Ms M.M. Pheko, Prof. E. Pretorius, Ms M.P. Richter, Ms E. Rouls, Prof. M.T. Seaman, Prof. R.B. Snowdowne, Prof. J.P. Strauss, Ms M.S. Tsolo, Prof. H.J. van der Linde, Dr S. van Vuuren, Prof. J.B. van Wyk, Dr J.M. van Zyl, Prof. T. Verschoor and Ms M.H.S. York received an long service award.

“Be assured of my appreciation for your loyalty and commitment to a university which is taking careful steps into a new century of its existence. If we do the right things right and with a sincere belief in our heavenly Father we will be able to build on the solid foundation laid by people like you,” he said.

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