Officer hailed as hero after saving baby from fall
A NELSON Mandela Bay metro police officer has been hailed as a hero after he caught a one-year-old baby girl after she was flung from the roof of a shack by her father.
Constable Luyolo Nojulumba caught the baby after her 38-year-old father dangled her by her ankle before throwing her from the roof of their shack in the Joe Slovo informal settlement during tense evictions on Thursday.
The drama made international headlines. Not a man of many words, Nojulumba, 27, was rewarded with a commendation by metro police chief Yolande Faro yesterday.
Nojulumba, who plays rugby for a local club, said when he caught the baby, she stopped crying immediately.
“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, a metro police officer for just over a year, described the incident as a terrifying experience.
Faro said it was a proud moment and the team was grateful that Nojulumba had managed to catch the baby, because if she had fallen to the ground a tragedy might have occurred. “He goes out there to serve and protect. When I asked him, ‘ What were you thinking?’, he said the only thing he was thinking about 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 she found surprising was that the child was crying while with her father, but the moment Nojulumba caught her she stopped crying.
“(It was) 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,” Faro said.
In October last year, Nojulumba received a commendation for being the first metro police official to confiscate an illegal firearm in the Motherwell area.
The baby’s father is in custody and is to appear 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 by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. A total of 90 homes were demolished.
The baby girl has been handed back to her mother. – African News Agency (ANA)
The father dangles his baby from the roof of his shack, with the aim of throwing her off it.
An officer unsuccessfully tries to stop the man from throwing his baby off the roof. The baby was caught by Constable Luyolo Nojulumba before she hit the ground.