The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed Jason Rohde’s appeal against his conviction of murder of his wife and defeating the ends justice but has had his sentence reduced to 15 years
Cape Town: The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed Jason Rohde’s appeal against his conviction of murder of his wife and defeating the ends of justice, but has had his sentence reduced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Rohde appealed a 20-year sentence imposed by Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe after he was convicted for the murder of his wife, Susan, in July 2016.
Rohde was sentenced to an effective 20 years’ imprisonment, 18 years for the murder and five for defeating the ends of justice.
The court ordered then that the five years and three years would run concurrently.
This morning’s judgment, by a panel of judges, ordered that the convictions for murder and defeating the ends of justice remain, dismissing his appeal.
However, the order ruled that his appeal against the sentence be upheld and that he serve 15 years instead of 20.
It read: “The appeal against the sentence is upheld. The order of the court a quo in respect of sentence is set aside and replace with the following:
“On count 1 (murder), the accused is sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. On count 2 (defeating the ends of justice) is sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
“The sentence on count 2 is ordered to run concurrently with the sentence on count 1.’’
The order also stated that Rohde be unfit to possess a firearm and that the sentences are deemed to have been imposed on February 27, 2019.
The court led with evidence that Rohde and his wife had been involved in a quarrel because he had had an affair with another woman.
The State proved that on the morning of July 24, and in room 221 at Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch, Rohde informed Susan that their marriage was over.
Susan was found just after 8.25am inside the bathroom, the door was locked from inside, and she had a cord of a hair-circling tool around her neck attached to the towel hook on the bathroom door.
The State said Rohde had made his wife’s murder look like she had hung herself. He pleaded not guilty to both charges, claiming she had taken her own life.
During the trial, the court found that Rohde could not answer questions about the morning in question and had contradicted himself in several ways.