Monday, June 14, 2010

South African couple murdered in Madagascar

The following report is from

Pretoria - A South African couple living on a small island about 35km east of Madagascar was found murdered at their home, the international relations department said on Monday.

Department spokesperson Saul Molobi refused to identify them or say how the Johannesburg couple, who managed and owned a hotel spa (Betsie Day Spa) in the island Ille Aux Nattes, was murdered.

The couple was identified by the Afrikaans daily Beeld as Gareth Walters, 48, and his wife Hannetjie, 45.

They had reportedly been living in Madagascar for three years.

The couple was hacked to death and their bodies set alight on Friday, Beeld said.

Hannetjie had been stabbed with a panga in her face, head and back. Gareth had serious wounds to his head, the newspaper reported.

One of their employees said there was money missing from Hannetjie's purse, but nothing else had been taken.

"They have already been buried on Saturday in Madagascar. We provided the family with all necessary support," said Molobi.

So far, no one has been arrested for the killing, he said. Investigations were continuing.

Sources: (English) (Afrikaans)

About the island: Ile Aux Nattes
Ile Aux Nattes (pronounced "eal oh nut"), also known as Nosy Nato, is a small but extremely beautiful tropical island (only 3 km in diameter) just off the southern tip of St Marie - (as indicated on the map on your right).

The only way to reach the island is by lakana (traditional wooden canoes also known as a pirogue) from Sainte Marie. A number of lakanas are always on standby on the beach just south-west of the airport runway and the trip across only takes about four minutes. During low tide a reasonable good swimmer can swim across the narrow channel (about 300 meters) separating the two islands – Source:

Click here for the direct link to the Betsie Day Spa, which was managed by Hannetjie Walters.

Picture Credits:
Hannetjie Walters -
Original Madagascar Map -

May Gareth and Hannetjie Walters rest in peace!


Harvey said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

I am sick of this. I am sick of hearing about these attacks over and over. I am sick of the slaughter. What did Gareth and Hannetjie ever do to anyone? I would wager that one of the employees did this. But it will probably never be solved. And why Madagascar? Are other whites there also being murdered in this same fashion, too?

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@ Harvey

It appears that targeting whites is not a common characteristic of Madagascar, but then there are not many whites living permanently in that country!

Ethnic groups consist mainly of Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, and Comoran.

During the political crisis of the country, when Marc Ravalomanana was President of Madagascar, there were several violent deaths during 2009, but it is near impossible to establish the exact numbers. If the manner of deaths during the political upheavals is anything to go by, then it appears that the burning of bodies (destroying of evidence) is a characteristic procedure used by local criminals.

Of course any individual who plans a murder can replicate the modus operandi of locals to confuse and hamper investigations. I’m not implying that this is what happened in the Walter’s case. However, it does give a reason why the murders will be a challenging task to solve.

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