Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Captain André Beetge, said the incident occurred during a demolition process conducted by the Nelson Mandela Municipality on Thursday.
Beetge said SAPS and Metro Police were deployed to ensure the safety of the team doing the demolition.
“About 10.40am, a 38-year-old man climbed onto the roof of one of the structures and held his one-year-old girl in his hands. This he had done to force the team not to demolish the structure.
“Due to the dangerous threat to the safety of the child, police set out a plan to rescue the girl and to arrest the male,” said Beetge.
He said just before midday police surrounded the shack and attempted to persuade the father to come down from the roof.
Beetge said within a few minutes a rescue attempt ensued and police grabbed the father who simultaneously flung his daughter from the roof.
Beetge said a wakker Metro cop managed to catch the little girl before she could hit the ground.
“The 38-year-old father will be charged for attempted murder of his daughter. The case will be investigated by the Motherwell Cluster Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.”
Beetge said the little girl would be handed back to her mother with oversight by social workers.
The operation was over by 1pm with some 90 structures demolished.