Police managed to rescue a 1-year-old toddler in Kwadwesi on Wednesday after her father threw her from the roof of a shack during an operation to demolish illegal structures by the Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality.
According to police, the demolition operation started at 9:30am in the Joe Slovo West area. SAPS and Metro Police were deployed to ensure the safety of the Metro officials doing the demolishing.
At about 10:40am, the 38-year-old man climbed onto the roof of one of the structures and held his baby daughter in his hands, in an apparent bid to prevent authorities from demolishing the shack.
“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 the police in a statement.
By 11:45am, SAPS members and the Metro Police surrounded the structure with a member of the SAPS attempting to talk the father down from the roof, while the rescue attempt ensued.
“As the man was grabbed by police, he threw his child off the roof. Fortunately, a member of the Metro Police caught the girl and the father was arrested. The father will be charged for the attempted murder of his daughter.
“The case will be investigated by the Motherwell Cluster Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit,” said the police.
The little girl will be handed back to her 35-year-old mother and social services will provide further assistance.
Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie applauded the police members for successfully rescuing 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.”
During the operation about 150 residents attempted to block the R75 (Uitenhage Road) by burning tyres and rubble. SAPS and Metro Police deployed along this route ensured that the road was opened again and safe for traffic flow.
The demolition operation was finalised by 1pm and about 90 structures were demolished.