Home South African Judgment reserved in Rohde’s conviction and sentence appeal

Judgment reserved in Rohde’s conviction and sentence appeal

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Rohde was found guilty of murdering his wife in a hotel room, at Spier in Stellenbosch, where his mistress and colleague Jolene Alterskye was also in attendance.

Jason Rohde

Rohde was found guilty of murdering his wife in a hotel room, at Spier in Stellenbosch, where his mistress and colleague Jolene Alterskye was also in attendance.

Cape Town – Judgment has been reserved in the conviction and sentence appeal, of wife killer and former property mogul Jason Rohde, at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

The appeal was heard on Monday through a virtual sitting, where five judges are presiding over the matter.

Rohde, currently out on R200 000 bail and who had to furnish a R1 million bank guarantee, was found guilty of the murder of his wife Susan, and obstructing the administration of justice – in that he concealed the murder to look like a suicide.

He was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment but, in December, 2019, was granted bail by the SCA and walked out of Drakenstein Prison, in Paarl, with a number of bail conditions set.

In argument for his release on bail, Rohde submitted that: “With a likely acquittal in the future, it would be extremely prejudicial for (Rodhe) to remain in custody.”

Rohde, in his heads of argument, said, among others, that Salie-Hlophe erred in “basing its factual findings – as to the events on the fateful morning – mainly on speculation and, in so doing, ignoring certain important facts and finding that the State had proved its case against Rohde beyond a reasonable doubt”.

In court documents, Rohde disputed the evidence of a number of witnesses, including handyman Desmond Daniels who was called to the hotel room, as well as the evidence of the pathologists called by the State, Akmal Kahn and Deidre Abrahams.

Rohde said the courts erred in rejecting the evidence of the pathologists called by the defence, Geanas Perumal and Isak Loftus, and further “not allowing the psychiatrist, Larissa Panieri-Peter to complete her evidence and to accept the evidence of Jane Newcombe, that the deceased was not a suicide risk,” court documents read.

The State, however, in arguments, said the prescribed minimum sentence is applicable and that “no evidence presented in mitigation by Rohde can justify or explain his utterly self-centred behaviour. He had ample time, over months, to reflect on his adulterous conduct as a father and husband, and the inevitable result for the marriage and them as a family unit,” court documents read.

The State further said that no substantial and compelling circumstances exist to justify a deviation from the prescribed sentence.

“The seriousness of the crimes, the impact thereof on his three girls and Susan’s family and friends, as well as the interest of society for the urgent need to curb violence against women, far outweigh the personal circumstances of Rohde,” the State submitted.

Rohde was found guilty of murdering his wife in a hotel room, at Spier in Stellenbosch, where his mistress and colleague Jolene Alterskye was also in attendance.

According to Rohde, he found his wife dead on the bathroom floor after she hanged herself on the bathroom door, but a post-mortem found that foul play may have been involved in Susan’s death.

Cape Times

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