Experts clash on whether or not Susan Rohde died slowly

Defence argues that evidence proves she did hang herself

07 August 2018 - 08:00 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

Stools and urine could be key to establishing whether property mogul Jason Rohde’s wife, Susan, was killed before she was hanged behind a locked bathroom door.

Rohde’s trial in the Cape Town High Court resumed on Monday. It was the 53rd day of the trial of the former chief executive of Lew Geffen/Sotheby’s to answer charges that he murdered his wife after she caught him cheating with a colleague.

Rohde’s defence expert, forensic pathologist Dr Izak Loftus, butted heads with the prosecution on whether Susan died from hanging or whether she was killed prior to being hanged.

Most of Loftus’s testimony – and cross-examination – revolved around whether people who hang themselves pass faeces and urine when they die. Loftus sought to persuade the court to go with his version.

“I am convinced that the deceased did not die instantaneously,” said Loftus.

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