AS IT HAPPENED: 'For 72 days I felt like dying'- defence confronts psychologist with Susan #Rohde's texts in cross examination

2017-11-08 11:10

During cross examination, defence advocate Pete Mihalik read text messages between murder accused Jason Rohde and his wife Susan in court as evidence that she was showing warning signs of suicide.


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Last Updated at 17:53
08 Nov 14:44

08 Nov 13:05

08 Nov 12:47
Therapist says Susan Rohde never told her about that. But she needs context - was it an emotional outburst, exaggerated to make him feel as bad as possible? 

08 Nov 12:47

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08 Nov 12:46


A previous witness of the State, Warrant Officer Mias Engelbrecht, told the court that he had extracted 25 000 pages of data from cellphones belonging to Susan, her husband and his mistress, estate agent Jolene Alterskye.

The witness told the court that his analysis revealed messages between handsets belonging to Susan Rohde and Alterskye from 05:50 on July 24 – the day that Susan’s body was found.

08 Nov 12:42
Now we are going through more WhatsApp/SMSs between Jason Rohde and Susan.

08 Nov 12:31

08 Nov 12:31

What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls emotions, therefore a low level of serotonin may be the cause of depression or anxiety.

08 Nov 12:24
Psychologist says quality of same symptoms fall more into anxiety than depression. One of problems is deciding which side patient is on. Both affect serotonin.

08 Nov 12:23

08 Nov 12:22

Mihalik says Susan Rohde also showed feelings of being sad, empty.

Newcombe is standing her ground and fighting back. Says must diagnose if mild, moderate, severe.

08 Nov 12:18

08 Nov 12:18

Defence reading depression symptoms from DSM-5, which is like a dictionary of psychiatric illnesses.

Says Susan Rohde showed 5 symptoms.

08 Nov 12:12

08 Nov 12:10
Susan Rohde expressed low self esteem which is more about not being lovable enough, says psychologist. She was distressed, but no despair.

08 Nov 12:10

08 Nov 12:09
If she was an unreliable witness to her life, I may well have drawn the wrong conclusions, but I had no reason to think she might be lying to me, says psychologist of Susan.

08 Nov 12:07

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08 Nov 11:56
Susan Rohde's mood swings common in situation of infidelity - wanted to be more lovable, but also angry about situation she did not cause.

08 Nov 11:56

08 Nov 11:55

Pyschologist said much of Susan Rohde's demeanour was a response to Jason's infidelity.

She was helping her recover a sense of self and stability.

08 Nov 11:48

08 Nov 11:47
Mihalik says Susan Rohde's therapist convinced her she was anxious, not depressed. Therapist disagrees.

08 Nov 11:45

08 Nov 11:44
Psychologist says she asked Susan what her medications were, but she did not write it down and can't remember.

08 Nov 11:43

08 Nov 11:43


A Valentine's Day card hidden in murder-accused Jason Rohde's suitcase turned his wife Susan's life upside down, her psychologist testified at the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

"I am currently battling to cope with that," said Susan Rohde, in a personal history form her psychologist Jane Newcombe asked her to fill in.

08 Nov 11:40
Susan Rohde lost 10% of her body weight from February (when found Valentine Card), sleep disturbances, forced Jason to keep card from Jolene on him.

08 Nov 11:40

08 Nov 11:39

Psychologist says if marriage counsellor had been concerned regarding suicidal thoughts, she would've been concerned too.

Yesterday we heard that couples' therapist wanted to admit her.

08 Nov 11:37

08 Nov 11:37
Psych says increase in alcohol a concern in any situation, not just suicide. Susan drank more than usual after affair. Never discussed suicidal ideation.

08 Nov 11:36

08 Nov 11:29

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Her general demeanour was appropriate for the situation, says psychologist of Susan.

08 Nov 11:27

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On July 23, 2016, the day before Susan was found dead in the Spier hotel bathroom, Susan and Jason exchanged a series of increasingly angry messages with Susan calling Jason "devious" and saying at one point: "You are going to die today and so is she."

08 Nov 11:22

08 Nov 11:20
Defence Pete Mihalik asks about Susan's support network and why she did not tell anyone about Jason's affair. Psychologist says possible shame and humiliation.

08 Nov 11:15

08 Nov 11:15
Psychologist Jane Newcombe says she started worrying about Susan after the Spier weekend because a colleague said a victim support counsellor had killed self.

08 Nov 11:14

08 Nov 11:10


Susan Rohde showed warning signs of suicide - defence

The team representing property mogul Jason Rohde, accused of killing his wife Susan, claim that they have evidence to prove that she showed warning signs of suicide.

During extensive cross examination of psychologist Jane Newcombe in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, defence advocate Pete Mihalik said that he would produce evidence on Wednesday to show that Susan was unhappier than the psychologist had made out in her testimony.

Newcombe testified earlier about individual therapy sessions she had with Susan.

The court heard that Rohde had been having an affair with estate agent Jolene Alterskye and managing the impact of that affair made Susan anxious.

08 Nov 11:10


Susan Rohde's psychologist shocked by her 'suicide'

There was no indication that Susan Rohde was suicidal, her psychologist testified in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday where her husband Jason is being accused of her murder.

"I am saying, quite categorically, that I did not experience Susan as suicidal," Jane Newcombe told Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe.

Susan was found dead in a room at the Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, hanging off the back of the door of their suite's bathroom on the morning of July 24, 2016.

At first, suicide was thought to be the cause of death, but this opinion later changed and her husband Jason was charged with her murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

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