Pictured: British doctor killed in South Africa, caught in taxi strike

Pictured: British doctor, 40, shot dead in South Africa after taking a wrong turn out of airport and getting caught up in violent protest by taxi drivers

  • Mr Kar Teoh was on holiday when he was shot dead after taking a wrong turn 

A British doctor shot and killed in South Africa while on a family holiday has been identified as one of the country’s top orthopaedic surgeons.

Kar Hao Teoh, 40, was killed after taking a wrong turning as he drove from Cape Town airport with his wife Sara and two-year-old son Hugo last week.

Mr Teoh, who was born in Singapore but had British nationality, was one of five who have died in violence during the strike which has been going on for a week.

Mr Teoh, who worked for the NHS and also privately, was had been awarded a number of international fellowships for his work as a trauma and orthopaedic consultant.

He lived in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, with his family and was based at the NHS Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

Violent strikes have broken out across the city after police officers began impounding illegal vehicles last week.

Mr Kar Teoh, 40, was a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire

The death comes amid violence across Cape Town in response to police impounding illegal vehicles. Pictured: A resident of Masiphumelele use a board as a shield during clashes

Two years ago, Mr Teoh won the Presidential Prize at the European Foot and Ankle Society conference in Lyon for his research into the treatment of ankle fractures.

He also worked privately for MSK Doctors, and close friend Professor Paul Lee paid tribute to him with a moving tribute online.

Professor Lee said: ‘It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our esteemed colleague and dear friend, Mr Kar Teoh, a respected Trauma and Orthopaedic consultant who left us too soon on August 3, 2023.

‘Mr Teoh was more than a triple board certified specialist in Trauma and Foot & Ankle surgery.

‘He was a guiding light in our professional community, a devoted friend, and a cornerstone of many significant projects.

‘Kar’s commitment to medical excellence was recognised in several prestigious international travelling Fellowships (BOA, BOFAS, AO, SICOT, EFORT, IBRA), and he was an ardent proponent of research, and undergraduate and postgraduate education.

‘Yet, his professional accolades only paint part of the picture. For those of us privileged to call him a friend and colleague, Kar was a trustworthy and steadfast presence.

‘He was instrumental in the establishment and success of WelshBone in 2007, MSK Doctors in 2017, and the MSK Regen conference in 2023.

‘In each of these initiatives, Kar offered his unwavering support and played a critical role in their success.

‘The loss of Mr. Kar Teoh leaves a void in our hearts and our community. 

‘His professional dedication was unparalleled, but it was his personal warmth, his commitment to friendship, and his unwavering support that we will remember most fondly.

‘Our deepest condolences extend to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.’

Professor Lee added an email address had also been created for people to share memories saying it was important for ‘future generations’ and ‘for Hugo, Kar’s 2-year-old son, ensuring he grows up with a vivid picture of the incredible person his father was.’

A Just Giving page set up in memory of Mr Teoh with a target of £50,000 has already raised more than £25,000.

His cousin Sancy Low, wrote on Facebook: ‘He had a great sense of humour and would have wanted things to be light and fuss-free.’

A police spokesperson confirmed the British doctor had died after entering into a violent scene amid ongoing taxi strikes: ‘From the airport he apparently took a wrong turn off and headed towards Nyanga. 

‘In Ntlangano Crescent a number of suspects approached his vehicle, shot and killed him. No arrests yet.’ 

Since last week, furious campaigners connected to the influential private taxi industry have launched stones at cars and buses and and set some alight. 

It came after a new municipal law gave local authorities power to impound vehicles for driving without a licence or registration plates, and not wearing a seatbelt.

The taxis’ national union has said its members aren’t instigating the violence and others are using the strike as an excuse to launch their own protests.

Tourists bosses fear the angry confrontations are putting off holidaymakers to the country. 

The South African national taxi council called for action after it failed to reach an agreement with local government over a new law that they say affects their business.

A Foreign Office official in London said they were supporting the family of a British man who had died in south Africa and advised Britons to be on alert.

The surgeon was a leading specialist, shot dead after taking a wrong turn in South Africa

A protester blocks the streets with stones and rubble during an ongoing strike by taxi operators against traffic authorities

A law enforcement officer fires rubber bullets during their clashes with protesters in Masiphumelele amidst an ongoing strike by taxi operators

Nyanga is one of the most dangerous places in South Africa, where 74 people are murdered every day.

Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, has taken a tough stance on the unregulated minibus taxi industry known for bad driving and dangerous vehicles.

Millions of workers and school children have been forced to stay at home. Deliveries of food have been interrupted.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town’s mayor, said he would stand firm against the sector.

‘In Cape Town, violence will never be tolerated as a negotiating tactic. We reiterate our call on SANTACO [the taxi union] to return peacefully to the negotiation table,’ he said.

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