Rohde guilty of killing wife
JASON Rohde has been found guilty of the murder of his wife Susan by the Western Cape High Court yesterday.
Rohde was also found guilty of obstructing the ends of justice by staging her death as a suicide.
Bail has also been withdrawn and Rohde will be taken into police custody. “The state has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt,” Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe said.
“This court finds that the accused staged the suicide and had the direct intention to kill.”
Salie-Hlophe carefully laid out how Jason had devised a plan to stage the suicide after a physical altercation resulted in murder.
Based on expert evidence, she found it “highly improbable” that Susan would have gone to the bathroom to hang herself. Susan was found hanging from a hook of a hotel bathroom door.
Throughout the trial, Rohde claimed that Susan had committed suicide.
Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk said in his closing argument that the fact that Rohde could so easily lie about his extra-marital affair meant he could do the same in court and lie about how Susan died.
During Rohde’s cross-examination, Van Niekerk accused him of lying. Rohde responded: “I’ve admitted that I didn’t tell the truth about my adultery, but as I’ve also said before, being an adulterer doesn’t make you a murderer, sir.”
On Tuesday, the prosecutor was unconvinced by Rohde’s testimony and said Jason’s recollection of the couple’s last verbal argument was a “carefully crafted choreography”.
Defence lawyer advocate Graham van der Spuy said that Rohde would either have to be “Superman” or “Hannibal Lecter” to stage his wife’s murder.
Delivering his closing argument on Wednesday, Van der Spuy said there was an absence of incriminating evidence that was usually found in murder cases, with the state conceding that there was no definitive cause of death. — News24.