Rohde's defence relates how he hit his wife Susan

21 November 2017 - 13:01 By Aron Hyman
Jason Rohde and wife Susan, who was found with an electric cord around her neck. File photo
Jason Rohde and wife Susan, who was found with an electric cord around her neck. File photo
Image: Facebook

The back of his hand connected with her face‚ his elbow connected with her nose and he grabbed her neck with his right hand and pushed and pulled her out of the way.

This is what caused some of the injuries sustained by Susan Rohde before she died last year.

Her husband‚ Jason Rohde‚ is accused of her murder and is on trial in the High Court in Cape Town.

These admissions were made by his defence team on Tuesday in a turnabout after attacking state pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan's post-mortem findings.

In a statement‚ read by advocate Graham van der Spuy‚ Rohde recalls a series of events portraying Susan as "angry‚ irrational and very‚ very aggressive".

They were at a company conference in Stellenbosch last year. His mistress was also in attendance.

Rohde claims Susan started the evening before she died by drinking directly from a wine bottle. He said around 8pm she sent him a message demanding to be picked up so that they could enter a black tie event together.

What followed‚ according to Rohde‚ was an ever more desperate attempt by Susan to get his attention. She allegedly danced with other delegates "in a provocative manner" and made sure that Rohde was taking note of her behaviour.

The alcohol-filled evening ended around 2 am and a drunk Susan insisted that the couple go to bed. But when they got to the bedroom‚ all hell broke loose.

She became enraged when he tried to delete a message sent by his mistress‚ Jolene Alterskye.

According to Rohde‚ when he tried to leave the room to go and join the ''after party''‚ he was blocked by Susan‚ who wore nothing but a white robe.

"The accused grabbed her bathrobe and tried to pull her out of the way. Eventually he grabbed her neck with his right hand and literally pushed and pulled her out of the way. As he tried to leave‚ she grabbed his collar‚ and he swung around and hit her on the face with the back of his hand‚" said Van der Spuy.

During the alleged confrontation‚ Rohde then went to one of the hotel rooms‚ where he knew his mistress was having drinks with other guests.

"He went to the room of Brendan Miller because he knew that Jolene would be there‚" said Van der Spuy.

Susan was hot on his heels‚ screaming and swearing at him.

After this‚ the quarreling couple went back to their bedroom - all the while Susan was pulling at him. In an attempt to ward her off‚ "his elbow connected with her nose" and she "fell headlong into a garden over a low retaining wall and onto her right side".

Van der Spuy put the series of events to Coetzee-Khan in order for him to qualify whether the events could have explained the injuries he noted in his post-mortem findings.

Coetzee-Khan said some of the events would make sense. But he pointed out that the cause of death was manual strangulation as indicated by a broken hyoid bone and haemorrhaging of the thyroid cartilage.


X