Slain wife ‘displayed symptoms of depression’
SUSAN Rohde, slain wife of property mogul Jason Rohde, displayed symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder and suicide ideation, the Western Cape High Court has heard.
Carol Nader, the marriage counsellor who saw the couple for 13 sessions, said she had recommended Rohde be admitted to a clinic for treatment.
She had asked Rohde whether she was suicidal.
“Her reply was ‘No. I would never do that to my children’. I never asked her again. I felt that she was insulted by me asking her that question,” said Nader.
She made a mental checklist of the symptoms Rohde displayed. Some matched those of Major Depressive Disorder.
“Susan was hyper aroused. She complained of feeling sad, empty and sometimes hopeless. She appeared to be isolating herself, was not socialising with her friends, didn’t want to confide in anyone. She complained of having difficulty in sleeping and expressed agitation and erratic behaviour.”
Rohde told the counsellor she had lost 8-10kg since February, when she first found out about her husband’s affair.
When the couple first sought counselling they had set goals of reconciling after the affair and improving communication.
“Jason feared losing Susan and did not want to get divorced. They wanted to keep the marriage rift confidential.”
In the last session on July 20, 2016 – four days before the murder – Jason arrived angry, said Nader. “He said he didn’t want Susan at the conference. Susan wanted the whole firm to see them together. I felt it would make her more anxious.”
The trial continues in Cape Town tomorrow.