Father who flung child off shack roof pleads guilty

In a dramatic standoff in Joe Slovo in April, a man held his baby on the roof of his shack in an attempt to keep the municipality from demolishing it. When the SAPS tried to rescue the baby, he threw the child from the roof.
In a dramatic standoff in Joe Slovo in April, a man held his baby on the roof of his shack in an attempt to keep the municipality from demolishing it. When the SAPS tried to rescue the baby, he threw the child from the roof.
Image: Werner Hills

The 38-year-old Port Elizabeth father who flung his one-year-old baby off a shack roof during a protest has pleaded guilty to child abuse.

The man, who is not being named to protect the child’s identity, was arrested by police in April 2018.

His arrest made headlines across the country after video footage and pictures were attained of the father standing on the shack roof, surrounded by police, before throwing the child.

In the New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Wednesday the father pleaded after the state dropped the charges of attempted murder.

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge confirmed that after the guilty plea the magistrate handed down a suspended sentence on the same day.

"The father was a given a suspended sentenced.

"A R5,000 fine or one year in jail suspended for five years," Beetge said.

The man was arrested during a protest in the Joe Slovo informal settlement, where the demolition of illegally erected shacks on municipal land was underway.

The father climbed onto his shack in an attempt to prevent the structure from being destroyed, threatening to throw his child off the roof.

A police officer attempted to talk him down but he then threw his child from the roof.

The baby was handed back to her 35-year-old mother and social services were asked to provide reports.

Beetge said the child has since been given back to the family after social welfare services found no reason for the child to be taken away.

HeraldLIVE photographer, Werner Hills captured the moment a father threw his baby off the roof of his shack in Joe Slovo informal settlement in Nelson Mandela Bay.

X