In Riot-Torn South Africa, Mother Drops 2-Year-Old Daughter Off A Burning Building To Save Her

Awoman was forced to drop her 2-year-old daughter from the ledge of a burning building in a desperate attempt to save the child in during the deadly protests in South Africa.

The incident occurred Tuesday in the city of Durban when a fire broke out in the building allegedly started by rioters and looters at the street-level floor, reported Sky News. The mother, 26-year-old Naledi Manyoni, was on the 16th floor of the building when she was forced out of her home as smoke started to fill the complex. She ran down the stairs with her daughter and made her way to the ledge, Reuters reported.

Video footage of the incident shows the 2-year-old was caught unharmed by a group of people as worried bystanders cried out during the drop. Manyoni was reunited with her daughter after being rescued by the authorities.

“After throwing her, I held my head in shock, but they caught her,” Manyoni told Reuters. “She kept saying, ‘Mama you threw me down there.’ She was scared.”

“What was important was for my daughter to be out of that situation… I couldn’t escape alone and leave her behind,” Manyoni told the publication.

Last week, South Africa plunged into riots after former president Jacob Zuma handed himself to police to serve a 15-month prison sentence for failing to appear for a corruption inquiry. Growing tension due to unemployment, widespread inequality and discontent with the government’s pandemic management further fumed the chaos, reported CNBC.

The government is now planning to deploy 25,000 troops to stop riots that have killed at least 117 people and led to an arrest of over 2000 people. The government says it is trying to prevent a food shortage. Hundreds of shops and businesses were reportedly looted during the riots, according to BBC.

The violence has led citizens to arm themselves and form vigilante groups to protect their properties and COVID-19 vaccination centers have been closed due to safety concerns for the healthcare workers.