I saw Rohde pushing his wife‚ Spier guard tells court
Spier wine estate security guard Kwanele Mabeta saw Jason Rohde “pushing away” his wife Susan hours before she died.
But Mabeta told the High Court in Cape Town — where the multi-millionaire property mogul is on trial for his wife’s murder — that he did not call for back up as the altercation did not seem like a “fight”.
Testifying for the prosecution on Tuesday‚ Mabeta said he was patrolling the estate in the early hours of July 24‚ 2016‚ when he witnessed the Rohdes arguing.
“I knew they were arguing because whenever the lady in the white gown touched the man he would push her away‚” said Mabeta.
Rohde claims Susan committed suicide‚ while the state has argued that her suicide was staged.
Rohde’s defence team previously stated that on the night before Susan was killed the couple had a fight during which Rohde grabbed Susan by the neck with his right hand. He did this because he was allegedly trying to get away from her.
He also claimed that he accidentally hit her with the back of his hand and his elbow. Then she allegedly lost her footing and fell into the garden and onto a wall.
Earlier on Tuesday‚ defence advocate Graham van der Spuy completed his cross-examination of state pathologist Dr Deidre Abrahams.
Abrahams remained calm despite facing a barrage of accusations ranging from impropriety to dishonesty relating to her and evidence from the post-mortem examination of Susan's body.
Rohde claims he found Susan in their hotel bathroom at Spier‚ where they were attending a company conference . And that a ligature mark around her neck was made by an electrical cord which she used to hang herself.
Tuesday marked the end of proceedings for 2017. The trial started in October and the state has only called seven witnesses from a list of about 70. The case will continue in February.