Rohde pathologist still off sick, trial postponed

2017-10-30 12:20
State pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

State pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court trial of property mogul Jason Rohde was postponed on Monday because the State’s forensic pathologist, who was supposed to be cross-examined, was too ill to testify.

Last Monday, the trial was postponed for a week because the pathologist, Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan, was ill and could not attend court.

However, when the case resumed on Monday, it emerged that Coetzee-Khan was still ill.

ALSO READ: Rohde murder trial: State Pathologist admits 'time of death' mistake

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe confirmed that she had received a medical certificate and that Coetzee-Khan would only be fit to resume cross-examination on November 20.

However, in an effort to expedite the trial, the State has agreed to arrange other witnesses in the interim.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Rohde's wife Susan was found dead in a bathroom at the Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch on July 24, 2016.

'Battered woman syndrome'

Initially it was believed that she had hung herself from the bathroom door after she and her husband had an argument. He allegedly had an affair.

However, the investigation later changed to murder and Rohde was arrested.

Coetzee-Khan testified that signs on Susan Rohde’s body indicated that she had died while lying down and that she may have suffered from battered woman syndrome because of an old bruise he had found during his examination.

ALSO READ: Susan Rohde's bruise was from a handstand fall - defence

But Rohde's advocate, Graham van der Spuy, tore into Coetzee-Khan's credentials during cross-examination and questioned the work he had carried out during the autopsy.

The defence claimed that Susan bruised herself when she fell on a dumbbell while attempting to do a handstand.

Coetzee-Khan also conceded that he may have miscalculated her time of death.

Jason Rohde was the CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises and he and his wife had been attending the company's annual conference at the time of her death.

He has pleaded not guilty.

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