Port Elizabeth - A Nelson Mandela Bay metro police officer was dubbed a hero on Friday after he caught a one-year-old baby girl who was flung from the roof of a shack by her father.
Constable Luyolo Nojulumba caught the baby girl after her father flung her from the roof of a shack in the Joe Slovo Informal Settlement during tense evictions on Thursday.
Not a man of many words, Nojulumba was awarded with a commendation by Metro Police Chief Yolande Faro on Friday.
The 27-year-old who also plays rugby for a local club said that when he caught the baby she immediately stopped crying.
"When I caught the baby she stopped crying, then I ran with her because members of the public were throwing stones. When she got in the vehicle she fell asleep and then woke up at Kwadesi Police Station but she was no longer crying," he said.
Nojulumba, who has served in the metro police for just over a year, described the incident as a terrible experience.
Faro said it was a proud moment and the team were grateful for Nojulumba's service because if the baby was not caught it would have been a tremendous tragedy.
The baby was thrown head first and if she had happened to land on the rocky, hard surface, a possible serious injury was prevented.
"He goes out there to serve and protect. When I asked him this morning what were you thinking he said the only thing he was thinking was that the baby must be safe and he needed to do everything in his power for the baby not to be harmed," said Faro.
What Faro found surprising was that the child was crying the entire time while with her father but the moment Nojulumba caught the baby she stopped crying.
"Like the baby felt she was out of danger and I mean she is only one year old. That was one thing that struck me completely in terms of the incident," she said.
Nojulumba is no stranger to achieving above average accolades. During October last year, he also received a commendation for being the first and only metro police official to confiscate an illegal firearm in the Motherwell area.
The 38-year-old father allegedly flung his one-year-old baby from the roof of a shack on Thursday in a crude effort to resist eviction from the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Kwadesi.
He will remain in custody and will make his first court appearance in the New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Monday on a charge of attempted murder.
The shocking incident occurred during the demolition of illegal structures conducted by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
Thursday’s demolishing process formed part of the metro’s efforts against land grabs. A total of 90 structures were demolished.
The little girl is in the care of social development services and has not been placed back with her mother, according to Faro.
African News Agency/ANA