A desperate mother had to throw her baby from a building after it was allegedly set on fire by looters in Durban, South Africa.
Naledi Manyoni hurled the girl from the first floor into the arms of her neighbors waiting below as smoke surrounded them, she had no option but to trust that they would catch the girl.
Ms. Manyoni was captured on camera dropping her daughter into the crowd of neighbors so that she be out of danger. “I was scared, really scared, but there were people down in the street,” she later said.
“People were screaming ‘throw her, throw her’. The way I was panicking, I was trusting anyone to take my baby away from me because the place was burning and there was smoke outside.”
Violence and rioting have erupted in South Africa after former president Jacob Zuma was jailed last week. Since then dozens of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in riots.
It’s thought 72 people have been killed as looters ransacked shops, warehouses and other businesses, and started fires.
Ms Manyoni and her fiance who stay on the 16th floor of the building were trapped by a blaze that spread from the ground floor in the central business district of Durban.
The toddler was unhurt, and the pair were reunited. Ms Manyoni said, “After throwing her, I held my head in shock but they caught her. “What was important for my daughter was to be out of that situation because my grandmother did warn me about this.
She said, “All I wanted was for her to be saved – I couldn’t escape and leave her behind. She kept saying, ‘Mama, you threw me down there.’”
The neighbors arranged ladders to help others, including other children before firefighters arrived 20 minutes later.