AS IT HAPPENED: Pathologist stands firm that Susan #Rohde was strangled, despite defence criticising evidence

2017-11-20 09:56

State pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan has returned to the stand in the murder trial of Jason Rohde and has come under scrutiny by the defence during cross examination in the Western Cape High Court.


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Last Updated at 13:13
20 Nov 15:23
CK needed in court for another case on Wednesday. Judge asks if defence will be done by then. Van der Spuy says he will try. Court adjourned until tomorrow.

20 Nov 15:23

20 Nov 15:22
CK says it can be both subconscious reflex action when in "agonal state" or, can be because changed mind - scratches on neck during hanging.

20 Nov 15:22

20 Nov 15:22
Coetzee-Khan says is can be within five to 10 minutes that they are dead and lists physical responses recorded as a result of pressure on the carotid artery. 

20 Nov 15:19

20 Nov 15:11
Now we are looking at "mechanism of death" regarding strangulation and hanging like constricting bloodflow to heart, obstruction of airways.

20 Nov 15:08

20 Nov 15:08
Where did that come from? says CK when defence accuses him of putting on blinkers and advising police to consider taking Jason Rohde's passport.

20 Nov 15:07

20 Nov 15:06
Examination of Jason Rohde showed he had little cut on his finger - he had cut himself a day or two before with vase that he broke - a day or 2 after Susan's death + 2 superficial scratch marks that need a magnifying glass.

20 Nov 15:03

20 Nov 14:55
Susan Rohde had blood in her nose. CK is asked if the cup of blood in her stomach was from this. CK says she would have had to have been bleeding while she was still alive.

20 Nov 14:54

20 Nov 14:46
Going through who was in the room when the autopsy was done - police etc - and that forensic pathology officer Victor Ngindisi bathed Susan Rohde's body when it was completed.

20 Nov 14:39

20 Nov 14:35
Rohde defence says histological and microscopic examination - the third leg in the autopsy on Susan Rohde - was missing.

20 Nov 14:31

20 Nov 14:26
CK says Susan Rohde's cause of death was obvious to the naked eye - manual strangulation. 

20 Nov 14:25

20 Nov 14:25
Rohde trial resumes after lunch with defence saying he spoke to a leading pathologist who said Coetzee-Khan should have taken some specimens of Susan's stomach in the matter of the blood traces.

20 Nov 12:52

20 Nov 12:51


Dr Reggie Perumal did a second autopsy at Rohde’s request more than a week after Susan's death.

His report suggested her injuries were consistent with ligature strangulation.

20 Nov 12:42

20 Nov 12:41
Defence wants to know why CK did not note "smothering" in his report. CK points it out as "item e" in his report - factor which was included in coming to his conclusion.

20 Nov 12:40

20 Nov 12:35
Coetzee-Khan says the hypostasis could have changed if Susan Rohde was cut down within 30 minutes after her death. 

20 Nov 12:26

20 Nov 12:22
Rohde's defence says he has consulted far and wide, and contends CK is "100% wrong" about his position of death finding. CK says defence must bring them to testify.

20 Nov 12:20

20 Nov 12:15
Lividy refers to the colour left on the body due to the process of hypostatis - accumulation of blood in lower and dependent parts of body.

20 Nov 12:14

20 Nov 12:14
Now defence is going over CKs notes on how he determined that Susan died lying down based on lividity he noted. Lividity is the way fluid goes to the lowest point of the body after death due to gravity. 

20 Nov 12:13

20 Nov 12:13


Mark Thompson, a colleague of murder-accused Jason Rohde, previously testified in court as the State's first witness.

Thompson tried to resuscitate his wife Susan at the Spier Wine Farm.

He told the court that he saw Susan Rohde's body lying on the bathroom floor and immediately started compressing her chest and blew into her mouth. 

He forgot to block her nose. He had never performed CPR before.

20 Nov 12:12

20 Nov 12:07

20 Nov 12:02
CK is accused of writing in his handwritten notes that Susan Rohde's hyoid was broken, changing this in typed notes. Strong denial.

20 Nov 12:01

20 Nov 11:55
Defence says he will bring someone in to prove CK is wrong. CK says defence can do so.

20 Nov 11:55

20 Nov 11:52
CK found fractures in ribs, three to five, in the front of Susan #Rohde's body. Defence says Perumal found another rib broken - VD Spuy asks CK how he could have missed this. 

20 Nov 11:46

20 Nov 11:45
CK explains that the reason it's blood stained is because it is mixed with gastric fluid. It was predominantly blood so he started looking for an ulcer in Susan's stomach.

20 Nov 11:44

20 Nov 11:44
The forensic pathology officer who helped Dr Coetzee-Khan with Susan #Rohde's autopsy is Mr V Ngindisi.

20 Nov 11:24

20 Nov 11:23
Rohde defence says six experts disagree with CK. CK says if anybody disagrees with him they can come and tesify.

20 Nov 11:14

20 Nov 11:14
The thoracic cavity is also known as the chest area of the body, which includes everything between the neck and the diaphragm.

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