Will Jason Rohde spend another week in police custody? This question will be answered today when a Stellenbosch court decides on the fate of Rhode, head of Geffen International Realty Franchises.
Last Tuesday the 47-year-old father of three was arrested at his luxury house in Bryanston for the murder of his wife, Susan (47).
On 24 July this year, Susan was found dead in a bathroom of the exclusive Spier Hotel in the Stellenbosch winelands. Initially the death was treated as suicide but after a post mortem, the police began to suspect her wealthy husband.
By Friday Rohde’s bail application hadn’t begun because the state had asked for a postponement to enable them to investigate further.
They’re waiting for the results of DNA tests, a blood splatter report, cellphone and internet analyses, information from the Reserve Bank on the financial affairs of Rohde (who is allegedly worth about R30 million) and more details on Susan’s mental health.
Advocate Pete Mihalik, head of Jason’s legal team, was unsatisfied with the state’s request and said the state’s case was based only on the post mortem examination, which found that an electrical cord had been wound around Susan’s neck after her death.
“The state must prove it has a murder case,” Pete said.
He stressed that Jason’s and his daughters’ lives had already been destroyed. “If you Google Jason’s name, ‘wife murderer’ comes up,” Pete told the court.
On Friday Jason looked tired and kept his eyes fixed straight ahead. He was wearing the same clothes he’d worn in court the previous day. A man who’d spent the night before Jason’s first court appearance with him in the Stellenbosch police cells, told YOU exclusively that Jason couldn’t sleep that night.
“He said he’d been arrested for an alleged murder and looked very sad,” said the man who’d shared the cell with Jason and another person. He said Jason was pleasant and spoke English and occasionally a little Afrikaans.
“We didn’t want to question him about his wife but he said he missed his three daughters and was worried about them.”
Jason’s daughters are allegedly still in Johannesburg.
Jason apparently had food and cigarettes with him and shared them with his cellmates.
On Friday afternoon Magistrate Greg Jacobs granted the state’s request for a postponement for further investigation and decided that Jason would remain in custody.
The bail application continues today.