A man from the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Port Elizabeth threw his one-year-old toddler from the roof of his shack during a demolition process by the Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality on Thursday.
A police officer attempted to talk the father down from the roof as a rescue attempt ensued.
“As the man was grabbed by police, he threw his child [from] the roof. Fortunately, a member of the metro police caught the girl and the father was arrested,” spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said.
The man had climbed onto the shack in an effort to prevent the demolition of the structure.
“During the day, various incidents happened, where a group of 150 residents attempted to block the R75 by burning tyres and rubble,” Beetge said.
“SAPS and metro police deployed along the route ensured that the road was opened again and safe for traffic flow.”
A case of attempted murder was opened and will be investigated by the Motherwell Cluster Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.
Social services personnel will ensure that the child is handed back to her 35-year-old mother, Beetge said.
Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie, applauded police members for the safe rescue of the child.
A police officer tries to talk the father in a rescue attempt. (Supplied, SAPS)
“It is shocking that a father would attempt to sacrifice his own child for the sake of delaying the [demolition] of an illegal shack structure,” he said.
“He will be facing the full [might] of the law against his actions.”
Police take the toddler to safety after the rescue. (Supplied, SAPS)
The incident was also captured by the PE-based The Herald newspaper.