Jason Rohde, a former property mogul, has been found guilty of the murder of his wife Susan by the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.
Rohde’s defence argued that his wife took her own life after a physical fight about his extramarital affair with a colleague.
Throughout his trial, Rohde said that Susan killed herself at the Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch.
He maintained throughout the trial that Susan took her own life by hanging herself with a hair iron cord in the bathroom of their hotel suite.
Handing down judgment, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlope said Rohde’s account of events “are not possibly reasonably true”.
Judge Salie-Hlope added that Rohde had the direct intention to kill his wife and staged the scene to give an impression of suicide.
Rohde was also found guilty of obstructing the course of justice. His bail has been withdrawn and he has been taken into police custody.
The State successfully argued that Rohde strangled Susan Rohde to death and then staged her suicide.
Judge Salie-Hlope found that the State proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.
The Rohde judgment comes just days after government and activists convened the Presidential Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit to thrash out ways to eradicate the high incidence of violence against women in the country.
Women who are victims of gender-based violence are urged to make use of the Department of Social Development’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC).
The 24-hour call centre is dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence. Those in need can call the toll-free number on 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling.
Alternatively, callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone. – SAnews.gov.za
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