Property mogul Jason Rohde guilty of murder
PROPERTY mogul Jason Rohde has been found guilty of the 2016 murder of his wife, Susan, 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 a reasonable doubt and that Rohde’s version was not possibly true.
“The court finds that you murdered the deceased and staged the scene to give the impression of her suicide. In light of the nature of the injuries, the manner and cause of death, the court finds that you had direct intention to kill the deceased. I, therefore, find you guilty on both counts as charged,” said Judge Salie-Hlophe.
Rohde was also found guilty of obstructing the ends of justice.
He was arrested after Susan’s body was found with an electrical cord wrapped around her neck and hanging from a hook behind the bathroom door of their room at the Spier Wine Estate Hotel on July 24, 2016.
The State argued that she had been murdered by her husband, but the defence insisted it was suicide.
State forensic pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan performed the first autopsy on Susan’s body and concluded she was murdered.
The court was adjourned until November 21 for sentencing and Rohde’s bail was withdrawn.
The court agreed on the sentencing date after defence advocate Graham van der Spuy stated the defence would be placing evidence in mitigation of sentence before the court. This would include calling further expert witnesses and submitting more evidence.
Van der Spuy asked that his client be granted bail until the sentencing date, stating that his client’s track record had been 100% throughout the process.
“He has never failed once to report, sign in, get permission or come to court with the sole exception of February when he was in hospital with a major depressive episode.
“The court does have, as I understand it, a bail bond to the value of R100000, which has been his bail up to now. I request that this be extended at least until November 21.”
But Judge Salie-Hlophe rejected the request, citing the seriousness of the case and the conviction. The defence then indicated Rohde would apply for leave to appeal. |
Jason Rohde has been found guilty of the murder of his wife, Susan. |HOUGH