Delivering judgment on Thursday, Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe said the court was satisfied, taking into account the evidence before it, that the State had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and that Rohde’s version was not reasonable or possibly true and accordingly rejected it.
“The court finds that you murdered the deceased and then staged the scene to give the impression of her suicide. Furthermore, in light of the nature of the injuries, the manner and the cause of death, the court finds that you had direct intention to kill the deceased. I therefore find you guilty on both counts as charged,” said Salie-Hlophe.
Rohde was also found guilty of obstructing the ends of justice.
Jason Rohde was arrested after Susan Rohde’s body was found with an electronic cord wrapped around her neck and hanging from a hook behind the bathroom door of the room they shared on July 24, 2016, at the Spier Wine Estate Hotel. The State had argued that she was murdered by her husband, but the defence insisted it was suicide.
State forensic pathologist, Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan, performed the first autopsy on Susan Rohde’s body and had concluded that she was murdered.
The court was adjourned until November 21 for sentencing and his bail was withdrawn.
African News Agency (ANA)