A man’s disturbing motive to save his home nearly turned fatal when he threw his child from his roof during a standoff with police.
The incident took place Thursday (Apr. 12) in the Joe Slovo township in South Africa when a 38-year-old was protesting the demolition of illegally made homes. Capetown-etc reports as workers prepared to dismantle a shantytown demonstrators rallied in protest, the man ran atop a shack with his daughter in hand. Unsure of what was to follow, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Metro police attempted to talk the man down, planning then to arrest him and save her. He swung his daughter by one ankle on top of a shack, threatening to throw her if demolishers didn’t back off. One officer even attempted climbing the building to talk with him. Eventually, officers were able to reach the man.
However, when they got a hold of him, he released his daughter off of the edge of the shack. Constable Luyolo Nojulumba of Metro Police caught her. The man was handcuffed and taken into custody, where he was charged with attempted murder. Officers on the scene claim the mother, who was watching from the ground, didn’t make any moves to save the child.
The baby is staying with her mother but there will be occasional checks by the local social services to certify that she’s safe. The case is being handled by the Family Violence, Child Protection Service, Child Protection, and Sexual Offenses unit.
Speaking with Times Live, Nojulumba says he was only doing his job when he saved the child. “The first thing in my mind was just to safeguard that baby,” he said. He also claimed many residents were siding with the man and threw stones at the officers. “There can be no injuries in the presence of the metro‚” he said. “I saved a life yesterday.”
The demolition was ordered by the Nelson Mandela Municipality. The Sophakama Organization notes over 60 percent of the residents (68,000) are unemployed and have limited access to higher education and basic resources such as food and water. A committee was put together in 2010 in hopes to bring more awareness to the underrepresented area.
Building demolition is recurring in South Africa, with most residents living in shacks. The country has strict laws on the matter with demands that it’s residents acquire a permit before building anything on vacant land.