Tourist shot in the face after hire car's sat nav takes him to notorious South Africa township where Brit was killed | The Sun

A TOURIST was shot in the face after his sat nav directed him through a notorious South African township where a British surgeon was killed.

Walter Fischel, 55, had his jaw shattered and several teeth blasted out after being ambushed by a gang just half an hour after arriving in Cape Town from Connecticut, US.

The American holidaymaker had just been to pick up a foreign exchange to pick up local currency when the GPS system in his airport hire car guided him through crime-ridden Nyanga.

Unknown to Mr Fischel, the sat nav diverted him into deadly danger to avoid a motorway snarl-up as he headed to the whale-watching tourist town of Hermanus 75 miles away.

Poverty-stricken Nyanga is one of the world’s worst crime areas where gang violence is rife and South African police only enter heavily armed and where rioting, rape and murder are common.

As Mr Fischel entered the run-down town, a gang of four men – who likely followed him from Cape Town International Airport – were lying in wait.

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The Avis car door was wrenched open and Fischel said when he tried to grab the main attacker's pistol he was shot in the face and dragged out of the car.

On his hands and knees, he crawled to the rear of his car and opened the boot and grabbed his travel bag and tried to run but the gang chased him and snatched his bag and beat him.

They then fled into the maze of narrow and deadly side streets – leaving Mr Fischel laying in the street covered in blood from his mouth where he had been shot in the face.

He recalled spitting out several teeth and the bullet then waking up in hospital.

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Mr Fischel, who was travelling alone and had flown in at 2pm on Friday from Thailand, told News24: “The traffic in the township got slow enough until it eventually just stopped.

“Four men who seemed to be waiting opened the doors and I got shot in the face.

“I tried to reach the pistol as they grabbed goods in the car but the kicked me out the cart and I opened the boot to grab my bag and ran but they chased me down and grabbed it."

Doctors at the first hospital he was rushed to were not well equipped enough to deal with his injuries, so he was taken to another facility.

Medics took x-rays of his bullet wound and told him that he was extremely lucky to still be alive.

Trauma surgeon Denis Allard said they had to secure his airways first as the bullet fired into his mouth which shot out several teeth had also shattered his jaw causing severe bleeding.

Mr Fischel added: “I’m lucky to be here, I’m angry I didn’t see it coming, you know the ordeal.

“I mean who would have expected that in the middle of the day?”

South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world with nearly 80 murder and 120 rapes a day but are carried out mostly in townships and areas of poverty.

Tourist murders are relatively uncommon in South Africa and normally occur when visitors enter areas which should be avoided and become victims to opportunists.

But Nyanga is considered the murder capital of South Africa with the highest murder rate in the nation and the police station is unable to cope with the gang violence.

Tourist Mr Fishcel plans to catch the first flight home and return to the USA as soon as he is discharged from hospital but warns fellow tourists not to trust their sat-navs.

He told News24: "This was an area close to the airport which you can easily stray into unintentionally and there should be more warnings in place to let travellers know.

“If this can happen at 3pm then it can happen anytime. I'm extremely lucky to have made it out alive. But, as soon as I'm given the all-clear, I am leaving the country."

It comes after British surgeon Kar Thao Teoh, 40, was shot dead in the very same township after his sat-nav also diverted him off the same N2 motorway into in August.

Dr Teoh from Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, was with several other adults and a child when his car drove into Nyanga and they were ambushed by protestors and he was brutally shot dead.

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The consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, was described as a “rising star” and his killers remain on the loose.

A South African Police spokesman said: "We have a specialist team tracking down this responsible for the attempted murder and robbery of an American tourist and are following up strong leads".

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