Family of British surgeon killed in South Africa ‘hope justice will be served’ despite no arrests

Kar Hao Teoh died when he was shot on 4 August. Credit: Hao Teoh

The family of a British surgeon who was shot dead during violent protests in South Africa say they hope justice will be served, as they "send him on his final journey".

Kar Hao Teoh, 40, who worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, was on holiday in Cape Town when someone approached the car he was in and shot him in the head.

No arrests have been made following his death on 4 August.

Mr Teoh’s family said in a statement released by the Foreign Office: “As we send Kar on his final journey today, we are immensely touched and grateful for the continued outpouring of love and support from friends and family, colleagues, patients and the wider community.

“It is a testament to his character and achievements that he was able to touch the lives of so many people.

“As the investigation is ongoing, we are currently unable to clarify the events leading up to Kar’s murder."

They added: “We hope that justice will be served so no one shall have to suffer such profound loss as we have.”

Kar Hao Teoh worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex. Credit: Family handout

It is believed that Mr Teoh, of Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, had taken a wrong turn from a nearby airport when he was shot.

It happened during unrest on the outskirts of Cape Town, which began after minibus taxi drivers announced a week-long strike.

Mr Teoh worked as a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Kar Hao Teoh is being remembered by family and friends. Credit: Family handout

Colleagues said: “Kar Hao’s career and life was nothing short of inspiring. He was a trailblazer in every sense of the word.

“He was kind enough to want to make changes that improved the lives of everyone around him, and brilliant enough to go ahead and actually make them.

“He transformed the local Foot and Ankle Service into a tertiary referral centre.

“He was an award-winning researcher and medical educator.

“He sought peace and gave love everywhere he went.”

In 2021, Mr Teoh won an international prize for his pioneering research into the treatment of ankle fractures.

Foot and ankle surgeon Professor Lew Schon, who worked with Mr Teoh in the US, said: “We were blessed to work with Kar at Union Memorial in Baltimore in 2018. Everyone loved him.

“He had the talent to help so many people and I believe he would have made the world a better place through surgical and non-surgical innovations.”

Mr Teoh’s cousin Dr Sancy Low said: “Kar Hao found his independence from an early age.“

He was a brother to many and knitted families of people together with his unassuming and caring nature.”

The family have asked for any witnesses with information about what happened to Whatsapp call +27 79 894 1466.

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