The parents of a three-year-old boy who plummeted to his death from an apartment block in Goodwood, Cape Town, yesterday are under arrest and face a charge of murder.
Yesterday afternoon, smeared little handprints on a window pane of the Liberty Grande flats were the only indication of what must have been the child’s horrifying final moments before he fell out of the window of the ninth floor flat, and hit the swimming pool deck three floors below.
Goodwood police spokesman Wayne Theunis said the death-fall had happened at around 6.45am, while the parents of the little boy had been arguing.
The toddler had died from the impact.
The parents, aged 30 and 34, will appear in court on Monday, he said.
ER24 spokesman Andre Visser said: “When ER24 paramedics arrived at the scene local fire and rescue services including Metro paramedics were already on the scene. The boy sustained severe injuries and was declared dead at the scene.”
Witnesses told Weekend Argus that the boy’s parents were not in the building when their child fell to his death.
When Weekend Argus visited the scene yesterday, the window of the flat still stood open, and the window pane closest to the floor was smeared with what looked like little handprints. A chair could be seen near the window.
Residents living on the third floor had cleaned up the blood from the hard cement floor and no sign of the tragedy remained.
Farai Jowo, who lives in the flat just below the one from which the child fell, said he had heard the little boy crying loudly for at least 10 minutes before the incident happened.
He had not heard any arguing, he said.
Jowo had been standing near the window of his apartment when he saw the reflection of the child flash in the window.
“He fell hard, probably on his head because there was a very loud noise,” Jowo said.
Jowo then woke up his roommate
Preston Bordeaux who then alerted the security guard for the complex.
Bordeaux went to wait outside the complex for the ambulance to arrive.
He said he saw a woman walking quickly towards the building and, not realising it was the mother, told the woman that a child had just fallen out of a window.
“She started screaming: ‘My baby, my baby’.”
It is believed she had been on her way to work.
Witnesses said the father hadn’t been in the building at the time either, and other residents of the building had called him to tell him about the accident.
Cecilia Naledi, who lives in the building, said the boy looked as if he was dressed for the crèche, wearing his shoes and a little grey bomber jacket. “He went to a crèche around the corner,” she said.
Naledi, who has a child of the same age, said she was devastated by the incident. They had not really known the couple, and only “recognised their faces”.
Jowo said the little boy had been alive for a few minutes after he fell, as they could see him moving. “He was alive right up until his mom came.”
As Weekend Argus was leaving the building yesterday afternoon, two uniformed police officers arrived with the mother, who was in handcuffs. It is unclear why they were bringing her back to the building.
The woman, wearing a black dress and black tights was dry-eyed, but looked bewildered.
Neighbours said they believed she is pregnant. Theunis said the parents would spend the weekend behind bars before their court appearance.