British doctor, 40, shot dead in South African riots killed in front of wife & son, two, after taking wrong turn

10 August 2023, 11:44

Kar Hao Teoh killed in front of his wife and son after taking the wrong turn in Cape Town
Kar Hao Teoh killed in front of his wife and son after taking the wrong turn in Cape Town. Picture: social media/Getty

By StephenRigley

A British doctor shot and killed in front of his wife and son after taking a wrong turn on a family holiday in South Africa has been identified as one of the UK'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, from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, 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.

Based at the NHS Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, he worked as a trauma and orthopaedic consultant and had been awarded several international fellowships.

Kar Hao Teoh
Kar Hao Teoh. Picture: social media
Taxi strikes have led to riots in Cape Town
Taxi strikes have led to riots in Cape Town. Picture: Getty

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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.

Paying tribute Professor Paul 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.

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

"For those of us privileged to call him a friend and colleague, Kar was a trustworthy and steadfast presence.

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

Prof Lee said a JustGiving page had been set up in Mr Teoh’s memory to help support his family - which had, within hours, raised £25,000.

Protests erupted in Cape Town after a law was introduced giving the authorities the power to impound taxi driver's vehicles for driving without a licence, or registration plates.

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

A Cape Town 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."

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.