This is the heart-stopping moment when a crazed father desperate to stop his shack built in an illegal township being demolished carries out his threat to throw his toddler to her death.
As a police negotiator anxiously edges towards the dad he dangles his terrified and screaming one-year-old daughter by her ankle perilously over the side above the sun baked earth.
Unknown to him half-a-dozen officers from the South African Police Service had moved stealthily forward and stood positioned beneath the father just in case he actually let the little girl go.
The brave officer on the roof warned colleagues the father was about to drop the youngster at any second as township protesters egged the agitated dad on with chants of: “Throw, throw, throw”.
The police officer fearing the worst rushed forward to grab the father but not before he swung the girl by the leg and over the edge.
For several jaw-dropping seconds the toddler falls through the air before one of the police officers below shows a safe pair of hands worthy of any goalkeeper and takes a very clean catch.
The 38-year-old man on the roof is then tackled by three other officers and arrested and handcuffed and lowered to the ground and was officially charged by police with attempted murder.
The drama happened after 90 shacks built illegally at the Joe Slovo township in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s eastern cape coast were ordered to be demolished.
The South African Police Service had been sent in to ensure the safety of the demolition team as 150 protesters began serious rioting throwing bricks and closing off roads with burning tyres.
As calm was being restored this man climbed onto the roof of his shack with his child and threatened to throw her to her death if the demolishers did not back off and leave his home alone.
When negotiators failed to talk him down a rescue plan was launched by police which ended successfully with the fathers’ arrest and the safe recovery of the toddler who was thrown off the shack.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge told 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 Offences unit”.
Captain Beetge said the baby has been handed back to the 35-year-old mother and their case is being overseen by local social services to ensure the child is in a place of safety.
The Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie praised the police actions.
He 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.
“The father will face the full force of the Law for his actions” he said.
The demolition team then moved in and successfully destroyed 90 structures that had been built illegally on unowned land.