This is the moment the man throws his baby daughter over the edge of a roof, having climbed up onto the building during a protest in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth. Photo: Facebook

A Port Elizabeth father, who tossed his baby from a roof while resisting the demolishing of illegal houses, will make his first appearance in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

He has been charged with attempted murder after throwing his six-month-old daughter off the top of a shack in an illegal township to stop it being demolished.

The 38-year-old had taken the baby and climbed on top of their home in protest against dozens of shacks at a township in Kwadwesi coast being lined up for destruction. 

As half-a-dozen policemen lined up on the ground below him and one climbed up to try to talk him down, the man dangled the baby over the edge by her ankle, before swinging her over the edge.

After dangling and swinging the baby over the end of the shack, he dropped her. Photo: Facebook

Fortunately, the girl was caught by the policemen standing below, and did not suffer any injuries.

The father was arrested and handcuffed and was officially charged by police with attempted murder.

The drama happened after 90 shacks built illegally at the Joe Slovo township in Kwadwesi were ordered to be demolished.

The SAPS 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.

Seconds after the man dropped the baby off the roof, he was tackled by a police officer and arrested, to later be charged with attempted murder. Photo: Facebook

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 father's 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'.

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.

Daily Mail/African News Agency/ANA