Prop­erty mogul Ja­son Ro­hde guilty of mur­der

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE -

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. |

AR­MAND African News Agency (ANA)

Ja­son Ro­hde has been found guilty of the mur­der of his wife, Su­san. |HOUGH

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