Please make sure my daughters are OK - alleged wife-killer property mogul

2016-08-23 17:13
Jason and Susan Rohde (Facebook)

Jason and Susan Rohde (Facebook)

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Johannesburg - There was no warrant presented for the arrest of Geffen International Realty Franchises CEO Jason Rohde on Tuesday morning, his lawyers said.

"No arrest warrant was presented. Rather, they showed the prosecutor in Randburg a letter from the Department of Public Prosecution [in the Western Cape]," Rohde's lawyer Daniel Witz told reporters outside the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

Rohde, 47, was arrested at his Bryanston home around 06:30 on Tuesday in connection with his wife Susan's death.

Susan, also 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.

Rohde was expected to appear in a Johannesburg court following the arrest, however, it was decided that he would be transferred to the Western Cape where he would appear in Stellenbosch later in the week.

"He may appear on Thursday morning at the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court and we will apply for bail at that stage," Witz said.

A preliminary bail affidavit had already been prepared and handed to the State and Rohde's legal team did not foresee any reasons why bail would be opposed, Witz said.

"Mr Rohde is a resident in South Africa, all his interests are in South Africa and his entire family resides in South Africa," Witz said.

'Family in shock and traumatised'

According to Witz, Rohde's family, including his three daughters, were traumatised by Jason's arrest.

"The family is obviously in shock and traumatised, but luckily the grandparents are looking after and support the family," Witz said.

Witz said Rohde himself was "keeping strong" and had asked the lawyers to make sure his daughters were OK.

"Throughout this whole ordeal he's said to us, 'please make sure they're OK, please make sure they're OK', and we're keeping his interests at heart," Witz said.

A group of about 10 or 11 police officers arrived at Rohde's home and proceeded to arrest him while his daughters were still in the house.

According to Witz, Rohde did not expect the arrest, as he had offered to turn himself in voluntarily during a meeting with the investigating team in Stellenbosch last week.

"During this whole stage, he has co-operated with the investigation and it came as a big surprise to us.

"Mr Rohde got a ring at his doorbell at 06:30 this morning. Obviously he didn't know what it was about and there were two arresting officers from Stellenbosch with, as we've been told, eight or nine armed policemen to arrest one man."

Hanged behind bathroom door

Following Susan's death, an inquest docket was opened, however, the results of the State pathologist’s post mortem led to the cause of her death being changed to murder.

Witz had said at the time that, according to his client, he and his wife had woken up together that Sunday morning.

"She went into the bathroom to get ready and he fell asleep. When he awoke to get ready for a breakfast talk, he was unable to open the door,” he said.

Hotel maintenance was called to assist. Once opened, he found his wife hanged behind the door.

Allegations of the couple being involved in an argument at the hotel’s bar on Saturday night, where Susan apparently "stood in public and said she knew he was having an affair" were irrelevant, Witz argued.

The couple have three daughters - an 18-year-old and twins who are 16.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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