Spier changes number of room where Susan Rohde died

27 March 2018 - 16:38 By Philani Nombembe
Jason Rohde is accused of murdering his wife Susan Rohde at the Spier Wine Estate.
Jason Rohde is accused of murdering his wife Susan Rohde at the Spier Wine Estate.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

The room number of the suite at the Western Cape hotel in which property mogul Jason Rohde’s wife took her last breath has been changed.

This was revealed by Joep Schoof‚ the general manager of Spier Hotel & Leisure‚ in the High Court in Cape Town on Tuesday. Schoof testified about the events of the day that Rohde allegedly murdered Susan.

The former Lew Geffen/Sotheby’s International Realty chief executive was sharing a room with his wife at Spier wine estate‚ near Stellenbosch‚ in July 2016 when she was found dead with the cord of a hair iron around her neck behind the locked bathroom door. Rohde is charged with murder and obstructing the administration of justice by making her death look like a suicide.

Rodhe’s counsel‚ Graham van der Spuy‚ insinuated that Schoof had “coached” one of the state’s key witnesses‚ Desmond Daniels‚ a maintenance worker at Spier. Daniels testified that he was asked to attend to the Rohdes' room on the day of the alleged murder.

Daniels evaded difficult questions with the response: “No comment”. The handyman also denied that he had lunch with Schoof in a restaurant near the court even when he was confronted with pictures from a CCTV camera at the restaurant. From time to time‚ Daniels looked at Schoof in the gallery.

“The only time Mr Daniels looked at you … was when he was telling untruths‚” said Van der Spuy. “Is it correct that room 221 has been changed? No‚ no‚ I will not ask you the new number.”

Schoof admitted that he had lunch with Daniels but denied coaching him. He also confirmed that the room number had been changed.

Rohde asked the court to relax his bail conditions during the Easter period as he intended taking his children on holiday.

“The Easter vacation is coming up and I am sure my client is considering his activities with his children‚” said Van der Spuy. “The reason is that he might be taking them to Plettenberg Bay.”

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe postponed the matter to April 23.

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