Cops seize estate agent's gadgets for Rohde case

25 September 2016 - 02:02 By NASHIRA DAVIDS and ARON HYMAN

Police have confiscated electronic equipment from the woman who allegedly had an affair with Jason Rohde, the multimillionaire accused of murdering his wife, Susan.

The Sunday Times has established that police swooped on Cape Town estate agent Jolene Alterskye on Thursday before she left the country for a two-week holiday in London.

Her computer, electronic storage devices and cellphone were taken. Leon van der Merwe, Alterskye's lawyer, said he had been informed that police had confiscated her devices after obtaining a warrant.

In July, Rohde, who was then the CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, attended a company convention at Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch with Susan. Her body was later found in the bathroom of their hotel room.

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The father of three was arrested last month at his home in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Atlantic Seaboard estate agent Alterskye allegedly had an affair with Rohde, and is said to have been at Spier when Susan died.

The Sunday Times has reported that Van der Merwe confirmed she gave police a statement.

Van der Merwe said the single mother was doing well despite media attention. "She is trying to carry on with her life as normal."

He said yesterday that she had left for London without her cellphone. "According to the investigating officers, she is a witness in the case."

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said: "The circumstances surrounding the death of Susan Rohde are still under investigation and the finer aspects thereof cannot be disclosed at this stage."

Rohde appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Friday, when he was given permission to return to his R9.8-million family home. His previous bail conditions stipulated that he had to remain in the Western Cape.

In an affidavit handed to magistrate Greg Jacobs, Rohde pleaded to return to his family and take up his responsibilities as a "single parent".

"Since the death of my late wife, my three daughters have obviously been most distraught and this was exacerbated when I was arrested ... I am desperate to do whatever I can as [a] father to protect them ."

The eldest is in matric and preparing for her final examinations.

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Rohde said he had to enrol her as a weekly boarder at her school. Sometimes she was "forced to live with friends on an ad hoc basis", and she was taking "immense strain".

"[She] constantly phones me, asking why I have 'abandoned her'," he said.

His twins were at a boarding school in the Eastern Cape and would have to return home for the school holidays.

A source close to the investigation said police had "cracked" Susan's cellphone and downloaded information including WhatsApp messages.

As her daughters, family and friends pine for her, those at the Hearts of Hope children's home in Johannesburg miss her too.

Deborah van Dongen, a director of the home, said Susan had been a volunteer there for three years.

Rohde is due back in court on January 27 next year.