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South Africa riots: Mother throws daughter from burning building after looters start blaze

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Woman trusted neighbours to catch her toddler as she let go

A mother threw her toddler from her burning home which had been set alight by looters in South Africa.

Naledi Manyoni hurled the girl from the first floor into the arms of neighbours waiting below as smoke surrounded them, trusting they would catch the girl and keep her safe.

Violence and rioting have erupted in South Africa after the jailing last week of the former president Jacob Zuma.

It’s thought 72 people have been killed as looters ransacked shops, warehouses and other businesses, and started fires.

Ms Manyoni and other residents were trapped by a blaze that spread from the ground floor to the second floor and higher of their apartment block in the central business district of Durban.

Ms Manyoni was filmed dropping her daughter into the crowd of neighbours to get the toddler out of danger.

“I was scared, really scared, but there were people down in the street,” she later told the BBC.

“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.”

The toddler was unhurt, and the pair were reunited.

Ms Manyoni told Reuters: “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.

“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 neighbours also rushed to get ladders to help others – including other children – to escape, before firefighters arrived 20 minutes later.

Footage on social media also showed a Durban hospital in flames.

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