A Port Elizabeth man has been arrested after he flung his child from the roof of his shack while resisting the demolition of the structure.
The horror scene played out in Joe Slovo informal settlement yesterday where police and metro police as well as members of the municipality were demolishing shacks built on municipal land.
Piercing screams marked the moment the man threw his toddler from the roof of the shack.
The young father’s shocking actions followed a tense standoff in Joe Slovo during which an SAPS officer had, moments before, tried to negotiate with the man from the top of a hippo parked close by.
After a frenetic rooftop scuffle with police, the 38-year-old man was overpowered, arrested and charged later with attempted murder.
As residents in Joe Slovo township screamed, police deftly caught the smiling toddler who seemed unaware of the danger.
The man was on the roof for about five minutes before he threw the baby spurred on by members of the community who shouted, throw, throw, throw.
Seconds later the man swung the baby by the leg before letting go, causing the toddler to plummet down into the waiting arms of a group of policemen who had surrounded the shack.
The man had been clutching his baby daughter to his chest on his corrugated iron rooftop amid a heavy police presence in the area to safeguard the process as the SAPS, metro police and municipal officials started demolishing shacks built on illegally occupied municipal land.
The father, with the assistance of a 35-year-old woman identified as the toddler’s mother, had climbed onto the roof of the last shack still standing with his child after about 150 residents had urged him to do so, some chanting: “They will do nothing to it [shack].”
The man was then arrested.
Port Elizabeth police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said social workers would be called in.
“Currently, the baby is still with the police. We will be getting social workers to deal with the matter,” he said.
By: Herald Live