A South African man has been charged with attempted murder after he threw his six-month-old daughter off the top of a shack in an illegal township to stop it from being demolished.
The South African government had marked the 38 year old man’s shack among others for demolition. The shacks were at a township in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s eastern cape coast.
As policemen arrived the area for a safe demolition, the man took his baby and climbed on top of their home to protest just as 150 protesters began serious rioting throwing bricks and closing off roads with burning tyres.
As calm was being restored, this man climbed onto the roof of his shack with his child and threatened to throw her to her death if the demolishers did not back off and leave his home alone.
When negotiators failed to talk him down a rescue plan was launched. Immediately, half a dozen policemen lined up on the ground below him and one climbed up to try to talk to him.
But the man dangled the baby over the edge by her ankle, threatening to swing her over the edge.
Township protesters could be heard egging the agitated dad on with chants of: ‘Throw, throw, throw’.
Images show the police officer on the roof rushing forward to grab the father but not before he threw the baby.
Fortunately, the girl was caught by the South Africa policemen standing below, and did not suffer any injuries.
The father was arrested and handcuffed and was officially charged by police with attempted murder.
The drama happened after 90 shacks built illegally at the Joe Slovo township in Kwadwesi were ordered to be demolished.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge told local media:
‘At about 10.40am a 38-year-old man climbed onto the roof of one of the structures and held a one-year-old girl in his hands.
‘This was done to force the team not to demolish the structure.
Due to the dangerous threat to the safety of the child, police set out a plan to rescue the little girl and arrest the male and one of our officers successfully caught the girl as she was flung.
‘The 38-year-old father has been charged with the attempted murder of his daughter and the case is being handled by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit’.
As a police negotiator anxiously edges towards the dad he dangles his terrified and screaming one-year-old daughter by her ankle perilously over the side above the sun baked earth.
Unknown to him half-a-dozen officers from the South African Police Service had moved stealthily forward and stood positioned beneath the father just in case he actually let the little girl go.
Captain Beetge said the baby has been handed back to her 35-year-old mother and their case is being overseen by local social services to ensure the child is in a place of safety.