Convicted killer Jason Rohde denied bail, pending appeal

Jason Rhode appears in court. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)
Jason Rhode appears in court. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Convicted killer Jason Rohde will not be a free man, pending the outcome of his appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe did not grant his application for bail on Thursday.

She said the court was of the view that releasing Rohde on bail would offend the rule of law and make a mockery of the criminal justice system.

The court was not persuaded that the facts before it were sufficiently compelling to justify his release.

Salie-Hlophe found Rohde guilty in November last year of the murder of his wife Susan and of and staging her suicide at the Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch three years ago.

Extramarital affair

She said he had "staged her death as a play" and roped in various "actors" and "extras" to fabricate a story that she had killed herself.

Rohde has, however, maintained his innocence, claiming his extramarital affair had driven his wife to take her own life.

In February, he was sentenced to 18 years for the murder and five years for staging the suicide, of which three years were ordered to be served concurrently with the sentence for the murder.

He applied for leave to appeal, but Salie-Hlophe turned down his request in April, saying the defence had rehashed arguments made during Rohde's trial and sentencing.

He petitioned the SCA and, last month, secured leave to appeal to that court.

A date has not yet been set for the hearing.

Advocate William King SC had argued in the bail application that the court should consider that leave had now been granted.

He said his client was not a flight risk as he had a new option before him: "Argue the appeal, be acquitted and carry on with life."

Rohde would suffer severe prejudice if he was kept in prison, said King.

He said the State had indicated that the matter was likely to be heard in the first or second term of next year.

"He would have served over a year and a half of his sentence which, if acquitted, he can't recover," King argued.

He said Rohde required bail to stop the "hostile takeover" of his company and that there would be dire financial consequences should he lose it.

Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk argued that there were no new facts before the court and that the SCA did not yet have access to the full record.

He said it would not be in the interests of justice to release Rohde on bail.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 366 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 642 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1723 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.18
(+0.53)
ZAR/GBP
20.43
(+0.01)
ZAR/EUR
18.45
(+0.35)
ZAR/AUD
11.30
(+0.28)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.03)
Gold
1840.60
(+0.64)
Silver
24.12
(+0.49)
Platinum
1032.00
(+2.58)
Brent Crude
47.96
(+1.75)
Palladium
2310.00
(-3.44)
All Share
58947.48
(+1.14)
Top 40
54171.85
(+1.29)
Financial 15
11399.33
(+0.82)
Industrial 25
79681.43
(+0.78)
Resource 10
56621.26
(+2.07)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo