Rohde murder probe completed, trial to head to high court

2017-06-30 11:34
Jason Rohde leaves the Stellenbosch Magistrates Court. (Tammy Petersen)

Jason Rohde leaves the Stellenbosch Magistrates Court. (Tammy Petersen)

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Cape Town - The trial of millionaire businessman Jason Rohde is expected to be transferred to the Western Cape High Court in three months' time.

Rohde, dressed in a smartly tailored dark suit, appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk, during proceedings, confirmed that police had completed its investigation and asked that the matter be remanded until July 25 for the indictment.

He said it had been agreed between the relevant parties that a pre-trial in the Western Cape High Court be set down for August 18, and that the trial start on October 9.

Rohde, the former CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, is accused of killing his wife Susan in their hotel room at the upmarket Spier Wine Estate on July 24, 2016.

He was released on bail of R100 000 and R1m surety in August 2016.

The property mogul claimed he found his wife dead in the bathroom of their room at the luxury hotel, where the multi-millionaire couple had been attending the Sotheby's annual conference.

Post-mortem

Susan's death was initially thought to be a suicide and an inquest docket was opened until the post-mortem indicated foul play might have been involved.

Rohde commissioned pathological and forensic reports of his own after police opened a murder docket.

The outcome suggested that Susan, 47, had committed suicide.

Rohde's lawyer previously told News24 his client had said he and his wife had woken up together that Sunday morning and she had gone into the bathroom whereafter he fell asleep.

Rohde claimed he woke later to prepare for a breakfast talk he was to give at the conference, but he was unable to open the bathroom door.

Hotel maintenance was called to help, and Susan was found hanged in the bathroom.

According to the pathologists, her time of death was 05:40 that morning.

The night before her death, the two had apparently argued in the hotel bar.

Susan had apparently told him she knew he was having an affair.

They got married in 1993 and have 16-year-old twin daughters, as well as an 18-year-old daughter.


Read more on:    jason rohde  |  susan rohde  |  cape town  |  crime

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