Rohde murder trial: Susan incessantly called, WhatsApped straying husband
“Where are you‚ answer phone‚ answer bloody phone‚ call me‚ call me‚ answer your bloody phone‚ why aren’t you answering? Call me‚ answer your phone‚ call me.”
The Jason Rohde murder trial heard on Thursday that this was one string of messages among hundreds of WhatsApp messages the property tycoon was sent by his wife‚ Susan‚ in the months before her death.
Susan‚ who was found dead in the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room at Spier‚ in Stellenbosch‚ in July 2016‚ also referred frequently to Rohde’s mistresss‚ Cape Town estate agent Jolene Alterskye‚ said defence advocate Pete Mihalik.
Cross-examining Susan’s psychologist‚ Jane Newcombe‚ Mihalik asked her to read out some of the WhatsApps: “I want that f****n bitch to see me and leave me alone.” “I’m going to go there and cut that bitch’s face.” “I’m not living like this.”
Pointing out that between February and July 2016 Susan called Rohde an average of 16 times a day‚ in addition to the WhatsApps‚ Mihalik asked Newcombe: “Did Susan confide in you that she was incessantly calling Jason?”
The psychologist replied: “No she didn’t‚ she said she was looking through his phone.”
Mihalik also referred to memes Susan sent to Rohde‚ including: “You go home to cry and get home and you want to die‚” and “The truth is everyone is going to hurt you‚ you just need to find the ones worth suffering for.”
Susan also sent her husband quotes from the British writer Sylvia Plath‚ who suffered from depression and committed suicide after allegedly finding out her husband had an affair.
Asked by Mihalik if there were parallels between Plath and Susan‚ Newcombe said she would rather describe them as similarities.
Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe asked Newcombe about the many messages referring to forgiveness in the WhatsApp exchanges.
Said Newcombe: “There’s a distinct chance of tone between Jason and Susan going into July and they were working through things more reasonably and Susan was working on forgiveness.”
The state alleges that Rohde strangled Susan to death‚ while he maintains that she committed suicide.
The case continues.