A father threw his one-year-old child from the roof of a shack in Joe Slovo township in Kwadesi, Port Elizabeth during tense evictions in the area, Eastern Cape police said.
Police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge, said the incident occurred during a demolition process conducted by the Nelson Mandela Municipality on Thursday.
Beetge said members of the South African Police Service and Metro Police were deployed to ensure the safety of the team doing the demolition.
“At about 10.40am, a 38-year-old man, climbed onto the roof of one of the structures and held his one year old girl in his hands. This he 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 girl and to arrest the male,” said Beetge.
He said just before midday police surrounded the shack and attempted to persuade the father to come down from the roof.
Beetge said within a few minutes a rescue attempt ensued and police grabbed the father while he simultaneously flung his daughter off the roof.
Beetge said a metro police member managed to catch the little girl as she was being flung.
“The 38-year-old father will be charged for attempted murder of his daughter. The case will be investigated by the Motherwell Cluster Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.”
Beetge said the little girl would be handed back to her mother while social services would provide oversight.
By 1pm, the operation was finalised after a total of about 90 structures were demolished.
Beetge said during the course of the demolishing process various incidents occurred.
A group of about 150 residents attempted to block Uitenhage Road by burning tyres and rubble, he said.
Police deployed along this route ensured that the road was reopened and was made safe for traffic flow.
The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie, applauded police members for the safe rescue of the child.
“It is shocking that a father would attempt to sacrifice his own child for the sake of delaying the demolishing of an illegal shack structure. He will be facing the full result of the Law against his actions,” he said
African News Agency/ANA