An application for leave to appeal by former property mogul Jason Rohde, who was convicted for the murder of his wife Susan, has been denied by the Western Cape High Court.
According to Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, Rohde’s defence had rehashed several arguments made during his trial and sentencing. Salie-Hlophe remained firm, stating that the submissions had already been decided on.
Rohde was sentenced to 20 years in February for murdering Susan at the Spier hotel in Stellenbosch three years ago. During this sentencing, Salie-Hlope deemed 18 years appropriate for the murder charge, as well as five years for obstructing the ends of justice. These sentences were to run concurrently, with three years, in particular, running side by side.
Rohde was not present at Tuesday’s proceedings and has maintained his innocence throughout the trial and since. Susan had found out that he was having an affair while the two had been at a conference at Spier, and Rohde has maintained that Susan committed suicide by hanging herself in the bathroom of their hotel room with the cord of her curling iron.
Defence lawyer Graham van der Spuy said that Rohde had prospects of success in the appeal and argued that there were several shortcomings in the report of pathologist Akmal Coetzee-Khan.
The pathologist made fundamental errors in performing the post-mortem.