Who Was Dr. Kar Hao Teoh and What Happened To Him In South Africa? The British Doctor’s Wife, Children, Family, Parents

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What happened to Dr. Kar Hao Teoh? The British tourist, 40, shot dead in South Africa was killed in front of wife & son, 2, after taking wrong turn.

Is unfortunate to face a tragedy like what happened to kar Hao Teoh, a British surgeon who was on a trip with his family.

He accidentally drove into Cape Town’s Nyanga township, one of the most dangerous places in South Africa, where there was a serious protest ongoing. 

Sadly, he was reportedly shot dead, in front of his wife and child.

Below are everything to know about him and how he died.

Kar Hao Teoh, from Hertfordshire, was shot dead in front of his wife and baby in Cape Town
Kar Hao Teoh, from Hertfordshire, was shot dead in front of his wife and baby in Cape Town

Who was Dr Kar Hao Teoh?

Dr Kar Hao Teoh was a medical doctor, a top surgeon to be precise.

He was a triple board certified Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in Foot & Ankle surgery and Trauma.

He most recently worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

He was born between 1982 and 1983.

He did his higher surgical training in the Wales Deanery after completing his medical school and academic foundation programme in Edinburgh. His advanced Foot and Ankle training was in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr with Kartik Hariharan and Hiro Tanaka, per his LinkedIn

He was married to a woman named Sarah who is a dentist and they had a two-year-old son named Hugo.

On August 2023, he passed away as the top Harley Street surgeon who was on a family trip with his wife Sara and two-year-old son Hugo, was shot dead.

Dr Teoh (left) was a much-loved Harley Street surgeon - described as a 'guiding light'
Dr Teoh (left) was a much-loved Harley Street surgeon – described as a ‘guiding light’

What happened to Dr Kar Hao Teoh?

Dr Kar Hao Teoh, a British dad was killed by a single gunshot to the head in Cape Town.

He was gunned down in Nyanga in front of his wife and son after he took a wrong turn from the airport and accidentally drove into a riot.

Street clashes sparked by a week-long taxi drivers strike had erupted in the area and the Brit, who was born in Singapore, is understood to have been killed when he stopped his silver Toyota Rav 4.

Three passengers in the car – including Hugo – were taken to hospital for treatment for severe trauma.

Violence erupted in Nyanga in Cape Town during a taxi driver strike
Violence erupted in Nyanga in Cape Town during a taxi driver strike. Credit: Reuters

A Cape Town police spokesman said: “The deceased was seated in the driver seat with a gunshot wound to the head. Two passengers in shock and an infant were transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.”

Dr Teoh, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, worked as a trauma and orthopaedic consultant and had been awarded several international fellowships.

He was based at the NHS Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

Harley Street colleague Professor Paul Lee described the doctor as a “guiding light” in an emotional tribute.

He 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 Dr Teoh’s memory to help support his family – which had, within hours, raised £25,000.

The 40-year-old was killed after taking a wrong turn from the airport in Cape Town
The 40-year-old was killed after taking a wrong turn from the airport in Cape Town

Friends were invited to send pictures and memories of the much-loved surgeon.

Two years ago, Dr Teoh won the Presidential Prize at the European Foot and Ankle Society conference in Lyon for his research.

Former neighbours of the surgeon expressed their horror on hearing of his tragic death.

Julia Coombs, 41, said: “It’s very, very sad – he was not old at all. He had a young child. It’s shocking – poor family.”

The mum-of-one added: “He was very friendly and down to earth – very polite and helpful.”

Residents in the quiet road in Bishop’s Stortford said the Teoh family moved out in June.

Dr Teoh was said to have moved in four years ago before being joined by his wife Sara, who works as a dentist.

The neighbour, who asked not to be named, added: “I only heard the news this morning, I was quite shocked – this happened right in front of his family.” 

She said an older couple, believed to be either Dr Teoh’s or his wife’s parents, also lived at the mid-terrace townhouse, and would take the medical couple’s young child to nursery. 

Lirandzu Themba, the spokeswoman for South Africa’s police minister, said the doctor took a wrong turn towards Nyanga.

“In Ntlangano Crescent a number of suspects approached his vehicle, shot and killed him. No arrests yet,” she said.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed it was supporting Mr Teoh’s family and speaking to local authorities.

Protests erupted after new laws were brought in for taxi drivers
Protests erupted after new laws were brought in for taxi drivers. Credit: Reuters

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

Cops started impounding vehicles last week – sparking violence as protesters torched buses and cars and pelted the police with stones.

The office of the City of Cape Town said the riots had hit commuters leaving people stranded due to attacks on public transport.

Cape Town city mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “In Cape Town, violence will never be tolerated as a negotiating tactic.”