No judge allocated yet for Jason Rohde's murder trial

2017-08-18 11:30
Jason Rohde leaves the Western Cape High Court amid a flurry of photographers. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Jason Rohde leaves the Western Cape High Court amid a flurry of photographers. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - A Western Cape High Court judge has not yet been allocated to preside over the murder trial of millionaire businessman Jason Rohde, it emerged on Friday.

Rohde, dressed in a smart suit and tie, heard this when he appeared for his pre-trial conference in the High Court.

Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk said they would like to have a judge allocated as soon as possible.

"There are issues to be raised that only a trial judge can decide on," he told Judge Nape Dolamo.

His trial is set to start on October 9.

"We are working hard to ensure that the trial can start on the ninth," Rohde's lawyer Daniel Witz said.

READ: Scratch marks found on Rohde's back after wife's death

Foul play

Rohde, the former CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, is accused of killing his wife Susan in their hotel room at the upmarket Spier Wine Estate on July 24, 2016.

He was released on bail of R100 000 and R1m surety in August 2016.

The property mogul claimed he found his wife dead in the bathroom of their room at the luxury hotel where the multi-millionaire couple had been attending the Sotheby's annual conference.

Her death was initially presumed to be a suicide and an inquest docket was opened. A post-mortem indicated foul play might have been involved.

READ: Rohde's alleged lover's computer confiscated

Rohde then commissioned pathology and forensic reports of his own after police opened a murder docket. The outcome suggested that Susan, 47, had committed suicide.

Rohde's lawyer previously told News24 his client had said he and his wife woke up together that Sunday morning. She went into the bathroom and he fell asleep.

Rohde claimed he woke later to prepare for a breakfast talk he was to give at the conference, but was unable to open the bathroom door.

Hotel maintenance was called to help, and Susan was found hanged in the bathroom.

According to the pathologists, her time of death was 05:40.

The night before her death, the two had apparently argued in the hotel bar. Susan had apparently told him she knew he was having an affair.

They got married in 1993 and have 16-year-old twin daughters and an 18-year-old daughter.

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

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