A CRAZED father who threw his toddler off the roof of his shack in a desperate bid to stop it being demolished by cops has appeared before magistrates charged with child abuse.
Mthobeki Katali, 38, had warned police that if they did not spare his dwelling at a township in South Africa then he would throw his year old daughter downÂ onto the scorched earth below.
New Brighton Magistrates in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, heard Katali carried out his threat when an officer got onto the roof of his shack with him to try and talk him down.
As dozens of demonstrators watching the stand-off chanted âthrow throw throwâ the father of the girl dangled her in the air by her ankle and threatened hurl her to her death below.
The court was told that Katali did throw the girl into the air but fortunately a brave police Constable Luyolo Nojulumba ran forward and caught the plunging toddler in mid-air.
Katali was charged with attempted murder but it was lowered to child abuse yesterday although the prosecutor said it may be upped again to attempted murder pending investigations.
Ironically the father was refused bail on the grounds that he had no fixed address as the shack he was trying to defend had been demolished so he was now of no fixed abode.
Prosecutor Nontshumayelo Balicawa opposed bail saying: âIf you look at the nature of this offence it is one of a child being thrown from a roof and it may yet be attempted murder.
âIf he is released where will he go?Â Â Where will the court release him to?â.
Defending Mxolisi Moolman said the authorites had been negligent in not finding the family a home but the court was told their shack had been built illegally and had to be demolished.
It was said there was a long queue for the land that had been inhabited illegally with 90 shacks built on it and the authorities ruled they should be pulled down immediately.
Rioting broke out but when the police quelled opposite all 90 shacks were demolished.
Heartstopping images showed the moment Katali threw his daughter from the roof.
The brave officer on the roof realising the father was going to drop the youngster at any second and suddenly rushed him but not before he flung his daughter over the edge.
For agonising and jaw-dropping seconds the toddler fell through the air before before she was caught by a cop below.
Katali was then grabbed and pulled off the shack handcuffed, arrested and charged.
The drama happened after 90 shacks built illegally at the Joe Slovo township in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth on South Africaâs eastern cape coast were ordered to be demolished.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said today: âDue 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 caught the girl as she was flung.”
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.