Wife killer Jason Rohde wants bail to stop 'hostile takeover' of his company

Convicted murderer Jason Rohde is seen at the Western Cape High Court during pre-sentencing proceedings for killing his wife Susan on February 18, 2019. Picture: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais
Convicted murderer Jason Rohde is seen at the Western Cape High Court during pre-sentencing proceedings for killing his wife Susan on February 18, 2019. Picture: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais

Convicted wife killer Jason Rohde wants to be released on bail pending his appeal to stop a "hostile takeover" of his company, Glasshouse Realty & Associates (Pty) Ltd, Netwerk24 reports.

According to the publication, Rohde claimed in court papers property mogul Lew Geffen, a 25% shareholder in Glasshouse, was setting aside money meant to be paid from the King Edward Trust - of which Rohde is a director and beneficiary - to Glasshouse.

Geffen filed an application in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on July 9 to stop Rohde and his lawyer, Tony Mostert who is an acting trustee and director in the companies, from acting as an active member of the company.

Geffen's application lists Mostert, Rohde, mother Brenda Rohde, Maureen Taggart and Glasshouse Realty & Associates among the respondents.

Rohde, his mother and Taggart started the company in 2003, with Geffen later becoming involved after Rohde started working for Sotheby's. Each have a 25% stake. Geffen is also a trustee of the King Edward Trust.

Geffen in his papers said the day Rohde was convicted, he was disqualified from being listed as a trustee and director.

According to Rohde, he would oppose the application as his daughters' financial stability depended on it - there was only enough money for maintenance and support of his children until the end of the year.

Netwerk24 reported Rohde maintained he should be released on bail so he could run the company properly and also properly oppose the court application, which he could not do from jail.

He also argued he had a constitutional right to be released on bail pending his appeal, which might only be heard within the next two years.

READ: Jason Rohde granted leave to appeal conviction and sentence for killing wife

Rohde, also in his bail application, stated he would have to repay the money paid by his wife's insurance policies if his appeal was successful as her trust contained a clause stating it would not pay out if she committed suicide within the first two years since becoming effective.

Susan died during this period.

The State opposed Rohde's application.

Rohde was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court to an effective 20 years in prison in February for killing his wife and staging her suicide at the Spier Hotel room in Stellenbosch three years ago.

In April, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe refused his application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence, saying the defence had rehashed arguments made during Rohde's trial and sentencing proceedings and the submissions had already been decided on.

Salie-Hlophe said 18 years for the murder was an appropriate sentence as well as five years for obstructing justice for trying to make Susan's death look like a suicide. The court ordered that three years of the obstructing justice sentence run concurrently with the sentence for the murder.

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

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