A man has been pictured throwing his baby daughter off a roof in protest at his shack being demolished. The dad, 38, was seen dangling his terrified and screaming one-year-old daughter by her ankle perilously over the side of the shack.
A police negotiator attempted to stop the dad from throwing the child off the roof but he continued his threats, with township protesters below encouraged him with chants of: ‘Throw, throw, throw’. Fortunately, the brave officer on the roof had warned colleagues down below that the youngster could drop at any second. So police were ready below to catch the girl when the angered father carried out his threat, swinging the girl by her leg over the edge.
For several jaw-dropping seconds the toddler was seen falling through the air before one of the police officers below managed to catch her. The 38-year-old man on the roof was subsequently arrested and officially charged by police with attempted murder. He was protesting against an order to demolish 90 shacks built illegally at the Joe Slovo township in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s eastern cape coast.
The South African Police Service had been sent in to ensure the safety of the demolition team as 150 protesters began serious rioting throwing bricks and closing off roads with burning tyres. As calm was being restored the 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 by police which ended successfully with the fathers’ arrest and the safe recovery of the toddler who was thrown off the shack.
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’. Captain Beetge said the baby has been handed back to the 35-year-old mother and their case is being overseen by local social services to ensure the child is in a place of safety. The Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie praised the police actions.