British doctor shot dead in South Africa after taking wrong turn

A British doctor holidaying in South Africa was shot dead after taking a wrong turn from the airport.

The unnamed 40-year-old man was reportedly with two other family members when their car ended up in Ntlangano Crescent, in the township of Nyanga, last Thursday.

‘A number of suspects approached his vehicle, shot and killed him,’ police officials said. It is not yet clear what happened to the others in the car.

Nyanga, one of Cape Town’s oldest townships, has been dubbed the most dangerous area in South Africa in the past.

It is unclear how the doctor ended up there, but the tragedy has taken place while Cape Town is riddled with violent riots.

The city’s minibus taxi drivers have been on strike against a recent crackdown on crimes such as driving without a licence or registration plates.

They claim local authorities are unfairly targetting them, impounding their vehicles for offences other drivers would only be fined for.

But the city’s mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has defended the campaign, saying it is an effort to make commuting safer for many people who use taxis to get around.

The unrest has seen a total of five people dead, including a police officer, arson, stone-throwing, road blockades and looting.

The main union involved, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), has denied its members are behind the violence and officially called for an end to it on Sunday.

Mr Hill-Lewis is refusing to negotiate with Santaco while the violence is ongoing and will only speak with unions after a period of peace.

The British Foreign Office has released advice about the riots, telling travellers: ‘These strikes have the potential to turn violent and may impact multiple areas including journeys to and from the airport.’

Similarly, the British High Commission issued an alert which says: ‘GPS services could divert you into less secure areas or into ongoing protests.’

Nyanga is notorious for horrific violence and was once known as the murder capital of South Africa.

Although it no longer has the highest murder rates (131 were recorded in the year 2021/22), it still sees brutal crimes often carried out amid township gang wars.

Nyanga was established in the 1940s as a result of the apartheid-era migrant labour system, designed to provide cities with access to cheap black labour while maintaining segregation.

Black men were essentially forced to migrate from their family homes in rural areas to find work in cities where they could only stay in hostels or townships on the outskirts.

There are now more than 500 townships in South Africa today and, although many have become distinct communities, they are typically overcrowded and poverty-stricken, with residents being the most likely to fall victim to the country’s high crime rates.

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