Jason Rohde appeared reluctant to put cord around model during hanging demonstration

2018-05-30 17:25
Jason Rohde reluctant to wrap the cord of a curling iron around a police officer during a demonstration. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Jason Rohde reluctant to wrap the cord of a curling iron around a police officer during a demonstration. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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WATCH: Murder-accused Jason Rohde testifies about wife's death

2018-05-30 09:53

The discovery of Susan Rohde's body hanging from a bathroom door in 2016 "finished" her husband Jason Rohde and he did not want to live, he testified on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Rohde will be cross examined by the state. Watch. WATCH

When Jason Rohde came under cross-examination in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, he seemed reluctant to wrap the cord of a curling iron around a police officer during a demonstration.

He explained to the court that he did not want to hurt her.

With the bathroom door of the Spier Hotel room in the courtroom, a Stellenbosch police colonel offered to be the model for the demonstration as prosecutor Louis van Niekerk asked Rohde to show everyone what he found on July 24, 2016.

Dressed in a dark suit, Rohde left the stand and walked to the door.

Van Niekerk said he must show how tight the knot was, as he had previously told the court the knot around her neck was tight.

Rohde had testified on Tuesday that "the knot around her neck was very tight" and referred to a tight lasso.

On Wednesday, he told Van Niekerk: "What I meant is that the tension around the neck was very tight," adding later that he could say that the "noose" was not loose.

WATCH: Murder-accused Jason Rohde testifies about wife's death

He appeared to hesitate with the cord and slowly wrapped it around the officer's neck.

He apologised to her as he moved the cord around.

When Van Niekerk asked if that was how tight it was, he said: "No, it's not. Because if I had to do the tightness..." before trailing off, pausing and then saying it wasn't slack.

Rohde explained that he was not being evasive but could not demonstrate the knot because that had not been his focus.

His focus had been on removing the cord.

"I am not being flippant, but why would I be studying the knot? What relevance to me is it how many times it is around her neck? I was in absolute shock. I wanted to get it off her neck."

Rohde gave instructions to the model on the crouching position she should take to show how he found his wife. He also stepped in and crouched in front of the door.

Although his wife Susan's death was thought to be a suicide, Rohde was later charged with her murder and accused of staging her suicide.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On Wednesday morning, Van Niekerk had asked Rohde to again describe the physical altercation between them in the hours leading up to her death.

The court also heard that their daughters had found out about his affair with Jolene Alterskye after seeing a copy of the letter that his mistress wrote on Susan's phone.

Van Niekerk said Rohde had been very candid about his affair and double life.

He also said Rohde made a "conscious decision" to lie to his wife and daughters about being a committed husband and a family.

"I think that is a very hard assessment but if you want to put it like that, the lie would have encompassed them too," replied Rohde.

ALSO READ: Jason Rohde - 'I already have a life sentence'

Van Niekerk said Rohde had lied to them and the marriage counsellor by secretly rekindling the affair after being discovered.

Rohde replied: "[The] bottom line is you have got to be deceitful. Otherwise it's not an affair."

The trial is expected to resume on Thursday.

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

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