Marriage counsellor thought my wife was a suicide risk - Rohde

2016-08-25 15:12
Jason and Susan Rohde (Facebook)

Jason and Susan Rohde (Facebook)

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WATCH: Murder-accused CEO Jason Rohde in court

2016-08-25 14:05

Real estate CEO Jason Rohde applied for bail in court on Thursday.WATCH

Cape Town – A marriage counsellor who was seeing real estate executive Jason Rohde and his wife, Susan, felt she could be a suicide risk, Rohde told the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

In his affidavit, Rohde said the counsellor’s report stated on two occasions that Susan could be a suicide risk and should seek immediate counselling and help.

He said the State was in possession of this report, as well as other documents pointing towards his wife’s death being self-inflicted.

Susan, 47, was found dead at the Spier Wine Estate on July 24. Sotheby’s had hosted its annual conference at the venue for the weekend.

She was found in the bathroom, reportedly with a cord around her neck.

Police initially opened an inquest docket for an apparent suicide, but changed it to a murder investigation after the post-mortem results.

Rohde, 47, CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, was arrested on Tuesday.

His lawyers advised him to appoint a private pathologist to examine the evidence and produce a report.

'No manual strangulation'

The provisional private report concluded that the cause of death was ligature strangulation and not manual strangulation.

The pathologist felt there was no definitive fracture of structures in the upper neck.

Rohde’s affidavit also touched on aspects commonly raised as motives for murder.

He said: "The proof of the Discovery life policies of my late wife… confirm the exclusion of a payout for suicide."

He felt it disingenuous to suggest that the sale of their house in Bryanston was an indication that he was dissipating assets or preparing to flee.

"The fact is that my late wife and I agreed to place the residence on the market, as our eldest daughter was completing her matric and younger daughter relocating schools to the Eastern Cape."

They listed the property on January 29 and rejected two offers that were too low.

Three passports

He listed his other assets as: an active bank account in Australia containing AUS$14 000, an investment portfolio, a 22% share of various legal entities which had various property holdings to the value of around R20m, and a 22% share in Glasshouse Realty to the value of around R10 000.

He had three passports: for South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. Only the Australian one had not yet expired.

He said these would be placed in his attorney’s possession as a sign of good faith.

"I have not been supplied with a summary of the factual matrix for which I am being charged, nor with a charge sheet."

He said he was unaware of the evidential basis of the allegations against him.

Read more on:    jason rohde  |  cape town  |  court

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