‘He’s holding up well,’ says Rohde’s lawyer as daughters prepare to plead for leniency
Jason Rohde’s three daughters – as well as close friends of the convicted murderer - are expected to plead with the Cape Town high court to have mercy on the man they love.
Sentencing procedures are expected to start on Wednesday after the former Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International CEO was found guilty on November 8 of murdering his wife, Susan.
In her 254-page judgment, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe also convicted Rohde of defeating the ends of justice after he attempted to hide the fact that he had murdered Susan by staging her suicide.
Susan Rohde was found lying on the bathroom floor of the Spier Hotel room the couple had shared while attending a company conference at the Spier Wine estate in July 2016.
Salie-Hlophe said that Susan had died from manual strangulation and obstruction of her airways, such as smothering, consistent with the evidence presented by state pathologists.
She said Rohde’s testimony was “fraught with inconsistencies and he was economical with the truth”.
But according to Rohde’s lawyer, Daniel Witz, the businessman’s family still supported him and were expected to testify in mitigation of his sentence over the next two days.
Rohde will also have to prove his remorse over Susan’s murder to the court. It is understood that he will seek leave to appeal Salie-Hlophe’s decision after the sentencing.
“In the circumstances, we have had an opportunity to consult with Mr Rohde in Pollsmoor Prison and, under the circumstances, he is holding up well. The support of his daughters and his family is giving him strength through this difficult time,” said Witz.
His twin daughters, who are writing matric exams, are expected to plead with the court on their dad’s behalf, but it is uncertain whether his defence team will ask for their testimonies - along with that of his eldest daughter, who is currently a student at Stellenbosch University - to take place in-camera.
The sentencing procedures are expected to start at 10am.
Former property company CEO Jason Rohde was found guilty in the high court in Cape Town on November 8 2018 of murdering his wife Susan and attempting to make it look like a suicide.