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Tragic drama erupted in a Hillbrow flat as a father stabbed his wife and 3-year-old son, then held the boy hostage for hours before throwing him from the sixth-floor balcony of their Hillbrow flat and jumping himself.

The boy is in a critical condition in hospital.

It was from the sixth-floor balcony of one of these flats that a father threw the 3-year-old son he'd stabbed. The boy survived but is in a critical condition. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: THE STAR
It was from the sixth-floor balcony of one of these flats that a father threw the 3-year-old son he’d stabbed. The boy survived but is in a critical condition. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: THE STAR

The father died after jumping from the balcony. He was apparently also shot by the police.

The crisis started on Tuesday afternoon, turning into a hostage situation which the police battled to resolve until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tsekiso Mofokeng said that at about 5pm on Tuesday, the couple argued.

“A man had an argument with his wife and he stabbed both his wife and son with a sharp object on the lower body,” he said.

The 33-year-old mother escaped and called the police. “The police were called to the scene and police hostage negotiators handled the situation,” said Mofokeng.

They tried for hours to negotiate the son’s release but were unsuccessful.

Instead the man hurled the injured child from the sixth-floor balcony.

He then jumped from the balcony.

“At about 1.15am, the man threw the child from the sixth-floor balcony to the ground. He then jumped,” said Mofokeng.

“The man was certified dead on the scene and the wife and child were admitted to a local hospital for treatment.”

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital spokeswoman Lungiswa Mayekiso confirmed that the boy was admitted there.

“The 3-year-old boy is in a critical condition. He is in ICU,” she said.

She could not provide information about the mother.

A witness, Tamara Xambela, said she could not believe the tragedy that had taken place next to her small laundromat.

“The whole thing started yesterday at 4pm when the man was standing on the balcony with his 3-year-old son.

“He had had an argument with the son’s mother and stabbed her in her stomach before locking himself and their son on the balcony,” she said.

Xambela said she could not believe the man had been able to keep the police on their feet from 4pm until 1am.

“He was on the balcony for all those hours and although the police were pleading with him to calm down and open the door, he told them that if they tried to do anything, he was going to throw the child off the balcony,” she said.

The man was on the balcony when a scream from a horrified resident alerted him to some police officers making their way on ropes from the top of the building to the sixth floor where he was.

“He saw the police officers coming down on ropes and threw their son off the balcony and jumped off himself,” said Xambela.

A Hillbrow resident, Lerato Mzileni, said the police shot the suspect dead before he hit the ground. He had thrown the child and was jumping himself when he was shot.

“They shouldn’t have shot him because he was going to survive. He should have been punished accordingly,” she said.

Some of the residents scrambled to put mattresses on the ground to prepare for the worst, although the police seemed to have calmed the situation down in the early evening.

“There were sponges (mattresses) on the ground for the little boy to fall on, they really wanted to save his life. He is very tiny,” said Mzileni.

She couldn’t say whether the child landed on the mattresses.

The owner of Crestview flats, Adriaan Reyneke, confimed that the incident occurred at the premises.

He told The Star on Wednesday morning that the building had a lot of security in place and that this was a “sad and unfortunate” incident.

He passed his condolences on to the family.

IOL

 

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