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AS IT HAPPENED: I'm no hired gun, says Jason Rohde pathologist Perumal

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Jason Rohde is cross-examined during his trial for the murder of his wife Susan Rohde in the Western Cape High Court. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)
Jason Rohde is cross-examined during his trial for the murder of his wife Susan Rohde in the Western Cape High Court. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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07 Jun 2018

Judge Salie-Hlophe adjourns until Monday when Perumal will face cross-examination
Judge Salie-Hlophe adjourns until Monday when Perumal will
face cross-examination

07 Jun 2018

In our practice, credibility is the major currency, says Perumal  

"I won't sacrifice my independence or credibility for any person or institution"

07 Jun 2018

VDS refers to state pathologist Dr Abrahams saying Perumal cannot be trusted because he is a "hired gun".

07 Jun 2018

Dr Abrahams lives in a rather small world, says Perumal

07 Jun 2018

Perumal reads an article that says while CPR is potentially life-saving it also causes a variety of injuries. Injuries occur in 93.7% of CPR cases, it states, most to organs and structures in the chest region.

07 Jun 2018

The gist of this is that soft tissue injuries occur at high frequency in hanging deaths, says Perumal
The gist of this is that soft tissue injuries occur at high
frequency in hanging deaths, says Perumal

07 Jun 2018

The sternocleidomastoid is a long muscle in the side of the neck that extends up from the thorax to the base of the skull behind the ear. When the sternocleidomastoid on one side contracts, the face is turned to the opposite side.

07 Jun 2018

Susan Rohde was in the most common age group for hanging, says Perumal
Susan Rohde was in the most common age group for hanging,
says Perumal

07 Jun 2018

Perumal concludes that some of Susan Rohde's injuries were the result of CPR

07 Jun 2018

Perumal: "At the time of the autopsy, we don’t have the whole picture. We only have what injuries are presenting. I would not limit myself as being categorical, adamant in terms of cause of death."

07 Jun 2018

Perumal found that Susan's injuries were consistent with ligature strangulation i.e. hanging. He cautions that he can make conclusion on what death is consistent with but not to the exclusion of other pathology.

07 Jun 2018

Perumal says he cannot be sure about the cause of death  

"I can say that it's consistent with hanging, but I'm not prepared to be adamant about it"

<p>Perumal says he cannot be sure about the cause of death

&nbsp;

</p><p>"I can say that it's consistent with hanging, but I'm
not prepared to be adamant about it"

</p>

07 Jun 2018

Perumal's report says Susan had injuries as a result of blunt force trauma

07 Jun 2018

VDS brings out a whole lot of medical literature and asks Perumal to explain why a dribble of saliva from Susan's mouth was a sure sign of ante-mortem (before death) hanging

07 Jun 2018

Presence of saliva is an indicator that the ligature was placed around Susan's neck before she died
Presence of saliva is an indicator that the ligature was
placed around Susan's neck before she died

07 Jun 2018

Dr Khan made errors, says Perumal

07 Jun 2018

Perumal has found his list and Judge Salie-Hlophe asked if the gremlins returned it to him. Public laughs. He is reading it out now. I will take a screenshot in a while.

07 Jun 2018

Perumal lists mistakes made by state pathologist
Perumal lists mistakes made by state pathologist

07 Jun 2018

Short adjournment as Dr Perumal searches for his documents

07 Jun 2018

VDS turns to Susan's blood alcohol levels. Perumal says no matter what degree of tolerance, an average of 0.14g/100ml at around 2am would influence anyone. "It will affect the central nervous system of a vast majority of individuals".

07 Jun 2018

Van der Spuy confirms Perumal's report. Perumal adds nothing further
Van der Spuy confirms Perumal's report. Perumal adds nothing
further

07 Jun 2018

VDS is reading through Perumal's report and stopping at sections to ask whether he wants to add anything.

07 Jun 2018

Advocate Graham Van der Spuy making the point that Dr Perumal is not biased

07 Jun 2018

Perumal indicates abrasions on Susan's neck
Perumal indicates abrasions on Susan's neck

07 Jun 2018

Sounding like a gripping TV series, Van der Spuy says he will ask question on cause of death "after the break". Short tea adjournment.

07 Jun 2018

VDS says that looking at videos of people hanging, some have a change of heart and try to stop process. Perumal: "I don't think there was that attempt to grab at the ligature once it was placed."

07 Jun 2018

Perumal says manual strangulation is unlikely because associated bruising is not in typical place.

07 Jun 2018

Perumal: When resuscitation takes place, one extends jaw [especially lower jaw] to keep airway open. He looks at post-mortem photos and says Susan's bruising is in that same area.

07 Jun 2018

Perumal says his opinion is that the lung contusions were caused by the trauma of CPR.

07 Jun 2018

Perumal: "This recommendation for passports to be seized of suspect in forensic pathology, is serious overreach. It is not the function of the doctor to engage in this.
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