A 38-year-old father who threw his 1-year-old baby girl from a roof during a protest against the demolition of shacks has walked free from court.
The South African man, whose name hasn’t been revealed to protect the girl’s identity, was charged with attempted murder after he threw his child off a roof as he didn’t want their home in an illegal township to be demolished.
He took his girl and reached the top of their home to protest against the destruction of their shacks.
A short video taken during the incident shows township locals forcing the father to let go of his child while chanting: “Throw, throw, throw!”
Photos show a police officer on the roof holding the father back but he quickly threw the baby away.
Fortunately, a policeman standing below caught the girl and she didn’t suffer any injuries. Her father was arrested and was charged with attempted murder.
The incident occurred after 90 shacks constructed illegally at a township in Kwadwesi were ordered to be removed.
To ensure the safety of the demolition team, the South African Police Service had been sent in as more than 100 protesters started closing roads with burning tires and throwing bricks.
The father then climbed onto the roof with his one-year-old girl and threatened to throw her if the demolish team didn’t leave the area.
Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said to 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 Offenses unit.”
The father received a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to child abuse in court. The state dropped charges of attempted murder but he was fined 5,000 rand (£264.90) and handed a sentence of 1 year in prison, suspended for 5 years.
The baby was given back to her 35-year-old mother.
The Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie said: “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 but thankfully the girl was saved.”
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