A new video footage shows the heart-stopping moment a South African dad threw his 6-month-old daughter off the roof of their home, in a desperate attempt to stop his shack from being demolished.
The 38-year-old man’s shack, at a township in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s Eastern Cape coast, was among those marked by the government for demolition because it was built in an illegal township.
When policemen arrived the area to demolish the shacks built there, the father took his baby and climbed on top of their roof to protest
Others whose shacks were to be demolished also began rioting at this point, throwing bricks and closing off roads with burning tyres.
In a desperate attempt to secure his shack, the father who was on top of his roof with his daughter, stood at the edge and dangled the child. He threatened to throw her to her death if the demolishers did not back off from his home.
Negotiators tried to talk him out of it all to no avail, so they hatched a plan. Unknown to the father, 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.
A police negotiator climbed onto the roof and anxiously edged closer to the dad as he continues dangling the screaming child by her ankle over the side of the roof.
The brave officer on the roof warned colleagues the father was about to drop the child as protesters egged the agitated dad on with chants of “throw, throw, throw“.
The police officer on the roof rushes forward to grab the father but he immediately swings his child over the edge of the building and she falls through the air before an officer below catches her.
After throwing his child, the father was tackled by three other officers, arrested, handcuffed and lowered to the ground. He has been charged with attempted murder.
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.