Spier murder case: What we know so far


Jason Rohde, CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, appeared in the magistrate’s court at Stellenbosch yesterday in connection with the murder of his wife, Susan.

A visibly upset Jason was wearing a blue jacket and jeans when he arrived at court in a police car. He was taken into custody on Tuesday and is being held at the Stellenbosch police station.

This is what you need to know about yesterday's court proceedings:

1. Jason’s wife Susan was found dead at the Spier Wine Estate at the end of last month. She was found hanging from an electric cord in the bathroom. The couple have three young daughters.

Read more: Woman’s ‘suicide’ in lavish Stellenbosch hotel now a murder case

2. The state pathologist alleges that Susan died as a result of asphyxiation. Jason requested that an independent pathologist also do an investigation.

The findings apparently showed that the small bone in the throat that usually breaks when someone is choked to death was not broken in Susan’s body.

3. His legal team say that there is strong evidence that Susan took her own life. The two have apparently been seeing a couples counsellor who said that Susan displayed suicidal tendencies.

Read more: ‘My wife was a suicide risk,’ Jason Rohde reveals in affidavit

4. Bail wasn’t granted to Jason today because the state said that they needed more time to prepare. Judge Greg Jacobs postponed the case until 11:30 today.

Read more: Watch: Jason Rohde appears in court

5. Jason’s legal team expressed their dissatisfaction about the fact that their client was arrested in front of his children and driven to Cape Town when he had already agreed to travel to Cape Town and cooperate with the police.

6. The Rohde family’s financial position was revealed in the court and Jason earns an estimated R150 000 per month. His total asset value is at R30 million.

7. The state prosecutor is Adv. Carine Teunissen, who was also the prosecutor in the murder case of Matie student Inge Lotz.

Read more: Who killed Inge? 11 years later mysterious Lotz murder still haunts her loved ones

8. The state is still determining whether Jason will be charged with a schedule 5 or schedule 6 crime. Five includes murder, whereas six includes premeditated murder.

9. Jason’s legal team is claiming that the investigative team that analysed Susan’s murder scene left it unattended and evidence could have been compromised.

10. The state asked for more time because many ongoing cases still need to be solved and their resources are under a lot of pressure.

Read more: ‘He was heartbroken’: Jason Rohde’s cellmate tells what the Sotheby’s boss’ first night in prison was like

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