Naledi Manyoni was forced to throw her 2-year-old from a burning building in Durban, South Africa.
Moms will do anything to save their babies and Naledi Manyoni is no different. The 26-year-old was forced to make a quick decision in order to save her baby's life. As riots and lootings erupted across South Africa, following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma, the building Manyoni and her daughter were in had caught fire. The young mother was forced to throw her two-year-old Melokuhle from the burning building in Durban. “All I could think was to make sure my baby lived,” Manyoni told BBC in an interview, adding that when she saw smoke rising, she knew they had to get out. She said she looked down and she was scared but she saw people gather down on the street. "The place was burning and she was crying," the mom explained. She had no other choice but to get her daughter out of there.
The mom also said that the people standing below were shouting at her to throw the baby into the crowd. Fortunately, they caught her and the mom felt relief. "I wasn't scared anymore because she was out of the place," she said. According to TODAY, the mom further elaborated to the BBC that she managed to squeeze through to a balcony when she realized the building was burning. The elevators in the building were not working so the mom to carry her daughter down the stairs, but they were not able to reach the ground floor. That's when the quick-thinking mother managed to find a balcony to escape. Once she made her way out, she asked for help from anyone on the street. “All I could do was trust complete strangers,” Manyoni said.
After the incident, her baby daughter was also quite shaken by the events. Speaking to Reuters, Manyoni recalled, "After throwing her, I held my head in shock, but they caught her." The two were later reunited, both safe and sound. "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," she said.
The riots across South Africa have been a result of the jailing of ex-President Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear at a corruption inquiry. The country has seen widespread looting and violence for nearly a week. It is estimated that at least 72 people have died in connection with the protests across the nation. Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba told CNN among those killed in the violence were 10 who died in a stampede in the township of Soweto. A shop owner in the area, Rahman, told the media outlet, "Even right now where I'm going to stay, what I'm going to eat, what I'm going to do -- we don't know nothing. Really, we lose everything. It's very painful, and I don't know what I can say about that. This is not our fault. I don't know what happened with the government. We don't know but this is not our fault. We didn't do nothing. We just lose like that."
"The path of violence, of looting and anarchy, leads only to more violence and devastation," President Cyril Ramaphosa said Monday. “It leads to more poverty, more unemployment, and more loss of innocent life. This is not who we are as a people.”