Ro­hde did kill his wife, judge finds

State ‘proved its case be­yond rea­son­able doubt’; mur­derer’s R100 000 bail re­voked

Pretoria News - - METRO - SONGEZO NDLENDLE

PROP­ERTY mogul Ja­son Ro­hde has been found guilty of the 2016 mur­der of his wife Su­san Ro­hde at a Stel­len­bosch ho­tel.

De­liv­er­ing judg­ment yes­ter­day, Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe said the court was sat­is­fied, tak­ing into ac­count the ev­i­dence be­fore it, that the State had proven its case be­yond rea­son­able doubt and that Ro­hde’s ver­sion was not rea­son­ably pos­si­bly true and ac­cord­ingly re­jected it.

“The court finds that you mur­dered the vic­tim and then staged the scene to give the im­pres­sion of her sui­cide. Fur­ther­more, in light of the na­ture of the in­juries, the man­ner and the cause of death, the court finds that you had di­rect in­ten­tion to kill the vic­tim. I, there­fore, find you guilty on both counts as charged,” said Judge Salie-Hlophe.

Ro­hde was also found guilty ob­struct­ing the ends of jus­tice.

He was ar­rested af­ter Su­san Ro­hde’s body was found with an elec­tronic cord wrapped around her neck and hang­ing from a hook be­hind the bath­room door of the room they shared on July 24, 2016, at the Spier Wine Es­tate Ho­tel.

The State had ar­gued that she was mur­dered by her hus­band, but the de­fence in­sisted it was sui­cide.

State foren­sic pathol­o­gist Dr Ak­mal Coet­zee-Khan per­formed the first au­topsy on Su­san Ro­hde’s body and con­cluded that she was mur­dered.

The court was ad­journed un­til Novem­ber 21 for sen­tenc­ing and his bail was with­drawn. The court agreed on the sen­tenc­ing date fol­low­ing of de­fence ad­vo­cate Gra­ham van der Spuy’s re­quest that the de­fence would be plac­ing ev­i­dence of a mit­i­ga­tory na­ture be­fore the court. This would in­clude call­ing fur­ther ex­pert wit­nesses and tabling fur­ther ev­i­dence.

He also re­quested that his client be granted bail un­til the sen­tenc­ing date, stat­ing that his client’s track record has been 100% through­out the mat­ter.

“He has never failed once to re­port, to sign in, to get per­mis­sion, or to come to court with the sole ex­cep­tion of Fe­bru­ary this year when he was hos­pi­talised with a ma­jor de­pres­sive episode. “The court does have, as I un­der­stand it, a bail bond to the value of R100 000 which has been his bail up to now. And I re­quest that this bail be ex­tended at least un­til Novem­ber 21.”

Judge Salie-Hlophe re­jected the re­quest stat­ing that due to the facts be­fore the court, the mat­ter was a very se­ri­ous of­fence and the court had al­ready con­victed him.

The de­fence then in­di­cated that Ro­hde will be ap­ply­ing for leave to ap­peal. | African News Agency (ANA)

African News Agency (ANA)

THE bail of prop­erty mogul Ja­son Ro­hde was can­celled yes­ter­day af­ter he was found guilty of mur­der­ing his wife Su­san Ro­hde in 2016. |

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