Rohde ‘staged wife’s suicide’
SUSAN Rohde’s suicide was not only staged, but she had been beaten days before her death‚ a state forensic pathologist said yesterday.
Dr Akmal Khan told the Cape Town High Court that a horizontal ligature mark around Susan’s neck had been made after her death by someone trying to stage her suicide.
The true cause of death was manual strangulation‚ he said.
Susan’s multimillionaire husband‚ Jason Rohde‚ is on trial for her murder‚ which he denies.
Rohde claims Susan hanged herself with an electric cord in the bathroom of their hotel suite at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch in July last year.
Images of Susan’s naked body at the scene of the crime were shown in court yesterday‚ with a large bruise on her upper thigh clearly visible.
Khan said the greenish colour of the bruise was an indication that it was a few days old‚ and other marks on her body indicated battered woman syndrome.
Khan countered the findings of Dr Reggie Perumal‚ a pathologist hired by the defence to conduct a second autopsy.
He said if Perumal did not conclude that a broken hyoid bone in the neck and haemorrhages near the thyroid bone were the cause of death, he would be misleading the court.