She clutched her two children under her arms and leapt from the ninth floor of a building, but as she reached the ground, she regretted her actions and begged for help.
Yesterday morning, Sindi Dube, 20, died lying on top of her three-week-old baby Nokubonga's lifeless body, only a few minutes after she had jumped.
Nokubonga was the first to reach the ground, and her mother landed on top of her. Siyabonga, 3, was lucky because he landed on a barbed wire fence. He is in a critical but stable condition at Johannesburg General Hospital.
A homeless man who was sleeping on the ground next to where Dube landed saved Siyabonga by freeing his tiny body from the razor-sharp wire, and placed him next to his mother before calling for help.
Dube and her children had been staying at Balnagask, a residential flat in Hillbrow, for the past three months. Most of her neighbours did not know her or where she came from. An identity card found in the apartment seemed to suggest she was from Zimbabwe.
The only thing she left behind was a suicide message, which she had written on the wall of her apartment with a marking pen. The message was addressed to the father of her children, Mxolisi.
Sowetan was unable to establish the nationality and the whereabouts of the woman's partner.
"I wanted to leave the children, but I know you don't want them. Goodbye. Tell Philani that you abused me from the time I was pregnant, I'm tired of it now," she had scribbled on the wall.
Khulekani Ndlovu, a security guard who was on duty during the incident, said when he arrived at the scene, Dube was still alive.
"It was dark and all I could hear was a child crying. I found the boy sitting next to his mother. She was reaching out for him but as soon as she saw me, she started screaming and begged me to help her," said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu said he grabbed the bleeding Siyabonga and ran to the reception where he left him until the paramedics arrived.
"When I returned to the mother, she was dead," he said.
Police spokesman Captain Bheki Mavundla said the police were looking for the children's father.
"We want him to come forward so he can claim the child who survived," he said.
A docket has been opened for further investigation.