Property mogul guilty of murdering wife
IN a wrestling match with his wife Susan Rohde, former property mogul, Jason Rohde, punched her, manually strangled and smothered her with a pillow before dragging her body to the bathroom where he staged it as a suicide.
This is according to Western Cape High Court judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe when delivering a guilty verdict in the murder case.
She also found Rhode guilty of staging the murder as a suicide, which translated to obstructing and defeating the ends of justice.
Susan was found dead in a locked bathroom in a room she shared with her husband on July 24, 2016, at the Spier Wine Estate Hotel.
She was found with an electronic cord wrapped around her neck. The cord was tied to the hook of the bathroom door.
It was her husband’s version that she committed suicide because he raised an issue of divorce after she learnt that he had not ended an extra-marital affair with his employee Jolene Alterskye.
“The accused must have dragged her from the bedroom, across the carpet, into the bathroom, causing the tangential injury to her left arm and shoulder.
“He could not have lifted her up and, unaided, wind the cord around her neck, as she was too heavy. So he would have laid her flat on the floor, wound the cord around her neck and retreated to the bedroom and locked the door,” she said.
Judge Salie-Hlophe said the State’s evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that the murder was staged.
“The accused had set a scene to tell the story that his wife had committed suicide. He staged her death as a play, setting in motion various ‘actors’ as his alibis,” she said.
She said the call to handyman Desmond Daniels was part of the “play”.
After Daniels unlocked the door, Jason revisited the scene to improve the play. “You had direct intent to kill.” After the verdict, Rohde was handcuffed and led downstairs to the cells as he sobbed. He was denied an extension of his bail pending appeal.
Sentencing will start on November 21.
A SHACKLED Jason Rohde was found guilty of the murder of his wife Susan and defeating the ends of justice in the Western Cape High Court. His attorney Tony Mostert sits behind him. After the verdict, Rohde was handcuffed and led downstairs to the cells as he sobbed. He was denied an extention of his bail pending appeal.