Jason Rohde’s ‘mistress’ could testify for State

2017-10-10 14:49
Jason Rohde (right) leaves court with his lawyer Pete Mihalik (Jenna Etheridge, News24

Jason Rohde (right) leaves court with his lawyer Pete Mihalik (Jenna Etheridge, News24

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Cape Town – The woman who property mogul Jason Rohde admitted to having an affair with, is set to testify for the prosecution, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Jolene Alterskye was included in a list of State witnesses that was handed up in the Western Cape High Court, to add to the summary of substantial facts and to support the charges of murder and defeating/obstructing the ends of justice.

Rohde had pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday.

In his plea explanation, the father of three daughters admitted to an extramarital affair with his fellow colleague - something he said he was not proud of.

According to the State, her testimony would acknowledge that she had seen Rohde and his wife Susan shortly before her body was found hanging from a bathroom door in the married couple’s hotel room on July 24, 2016.

The three had attended Sotheby’s annual conference at the Spier Wine Farm in the Stellenbosch area.

'It was a suicide'

Rohde was adamant that she committed suicide and that he did not stage her suicide.

He said Susan found out about the affair in 2016 and insisted on accompanying him to the annual conference, despite no other partners doing the same.

She knew that Alterskye would also be there. Her conduct vacillated between anger, resentment, desperation and sadness, he said in his plea explanation.

Susan had apparently insisted on forcefully preventing him from leaving the room.

He said she continually pulled and grabbed him. As he tried to get her to back off, his arm connected with her.

"She did sustain injuries and she also fell. I never attacked her. Susan also sustained an injury before the weekend," he stated.

The State alleged that Susan was killed by means of manual strangulation and/or violence inflicted by means unknown.

Seventeen witnesses are on the list, made up of mostly police officials and experts.

These include:

- Captain Mofokeng from the Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering section of the Forensic Science Laboratory, who did tests on the left hand side hook of the bathroom door which the cord was tied to, to establish whether the hook could withstand an approximate weight of 51kg's;

- Colonel Poolman, from the same section of the forensic science laboratory, who received a hair tool and cable from the investigating team, to establish whether it was possible to open the bathroom door from the outside and whether there was any failure to the electric cable to indicate the deceased hung herself;

- Captain Joubert, a forensic crime scene expert and bloodstain pattern expert, who analysed bloodstains at the front door, bathroom floor, bedroom floor and white bedding in the couple’s hotel room;

- Warrant Officer van Niekerk, a Worcester SAPS official, who analysed cellphone records with the aim of proving communication between Rohde, his wife, Alterskye and two others;

- Mr Eben, who was Susan’s personal trainer;

- Jane Newcombe, a clinical psychologist that Susan consulted eight times after discovering Rohde was having an affair.

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