Rohde case: 'Not enough blood found to prove violence at death scene'

2018-02-27 16:50
Jason Rohde in the Western Cape High Court. (File: Jenni Evans, News24)

Jason Rohde in the Western Cape High Court. (File: Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Although murder accused Jason Rohde's blood was found at the scene of his wife Susan's apparent suicide at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch, it was not enough to conclude that there was violence involved in her death, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

In the witness stand was Captain Marius Joubert, surrounded by copies of his 24-page report, pictures, and a sketch taken after he had visited the scene of Susan's death on July 24, 2016.

With 26 years of experience and expertise in blood spatter and blood stain analysis, Joubert said that blood found on a pillow case, a duvet and on the floor, was such a small amount that it could have come from a cut that Rohde had not even been aware of.

The trial was uncharacteristically fast-paced on Tuesday, with Rohde's defence team pared down to advocate Graham van der Spuy to reduce costs.

READ: Jason Rohde cuts costs, reduces his legal team

His defence previously included advocate Pete Mihalik, Van der Spuy, advocate Ross McKernan, attorney Daniel Witz and attorney Stacey Webb.

Rohde was admitted to a clinic for depression treatment after he went on a holiday to Plettenberg Bay.

When he did not appear in court as expected on February 5, he was arrested at the clinic and taken to court in shorts and a T-shirt to explain himself because Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe did not accept the doctor's note presented to her.

He was discharged from the clinic last week and was back in court in his suit on Tuesday.

The court has already heard that Rohde was a guest speaker at a property conference at Spier, and Susan had accompanied him. 

However, the couple was recovering from an affair he had with estate agent Jolene Alterskye and, in the hours leading up to Susan's death, they had argued as Susan had tried to prevent Jason from going to visit Alterskye, who was also at the conference.

ALSO READ: 'My penguin forever': Rohde love triangle revealed in WhatsApp record

He claims that, after falling asleep in their suite, he later found his wife dead in the bathroom. 

He said she had hanged herself.

He has pleaded not guilty to murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Joubert told the court that, not only was the amount of his blood found on the scene minimal, but South Africa does not yet have the technology to determine how old the blood was either.

"There are studies overseas that can do that, but we can't do it yet," he said.

Joubert's testimony and cross-examination ended and the trial continues on Wednesday.

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

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