'It appears she was strangled, smothered': read the Stellenbosch detective's statement on Spier murder

By admin
26 August 2016

Susan Rohde was choked to death, state pathologists allege after an autopsy of her body.

Susan Rohde was choked to death, state pathologists allege after an autopsy of her body.

Parts of the pathologists' report were revealed in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on 26 August, where Susan's husband Jason was applying for bail.

The information formed part of a report submitted to the court by Detective Sergeant Marlon Juan Appollis.

In the document (below) Appollis describes the report he received from two pathologists at Paarl mortuary, Dr Kahn and Abrahams.

"Dr Kahm, with whom Dr Abrahams concurred, was of the opinion that the mechanism of death was manual strangulation."

Appollis also explains how the doctors found signs of Susan having been smothered, although this was not her cause of death.

"He [Dr Kahn, who was at the crime scene] indicated there were pathology consistent with smothering and asphyxia," the SAPs detective said.

Appollis also said it appeared the electric cable had been wrapped around Susan's throat after her death.

"He [Kahn] also noted the features of the ligature imprint abrasion mark are consistent with the post mortem application to the neck."

At the bail hearing, Magistrate Greg Jacobs ruled real estate CEO Rohde will remain in custody this weekend.

He will appear again in the Stellenbosch Magistrates Court on Tuesday 30 August.

"It's in the interest of justice to grant the postponement,"  told the court this afternoon.

Dressed in the same dark jacket he'd worn the previous day, Rohde received the news with a blank expression.

Rohde was arrested on Tuesday 23 August in Bryanston, Johannesburg, and was taken by police officers to Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, where his wife Susan was found dead.

Susan (47) was found her hanging by her neck by an electric cord behind the bathroom door in a hotel room on Spier Wine Estate in the small town on 24 July.

She was initially thought to have killed herself, but the inquest was later commuted to a murder investigation.

In documents submitted to court, Rohde said he and his wife had been receiving marriage counselling, and the counsellor had said Susan was "a suicide risk".

The couple have three teenage daughters. The twins and their older sister have been staying with their grandparents since their father's arrest.

The girls were asleep in their Bryanston home when their father was arrested, Appollis said in his statement.

More on this story:

Jason Rohde to spend 3 more nights behind bars

Spier murder case: what we know so far

‘My wife was a suicide risk,’ Jason Rohde reveals in affidavit

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