Rohde wants to keep daughters away from murder trial‚ says lawyer

Jason Rohde, accused of murdering his wife Susan in 2016 Image: Anthony Molyneaux
Jason Rohde, accused of murdering his wife Susan in 2016 Image: Anthony Molyneaux

Murder accused millionaire Jason Rohde does not want his three daughters to attend court proceedings in Cape Town‚ where he is on trial for allegedly murdering their mother‚ his wife Susan.

Besides his five-man legal team‚ the former Geffen International Realty Franchises CEO has not had any supporters in court since his trial started on Monday.

A forensic pathologist was expected to testify as the state’s second witness on Wednesday but the case was postponed until Thursday for the prosecution to hand over evidence to Rohde’s defence team.

Rohde seemed comfortable and focused as his legal team consulted with state advocate Louis van Niekerk and the police investigating team from Stellenbosch led by Sergeant Marlon Appollis.

“He’s just focused and taking serious amounts of notes. On every point that a witness has raised he’s given us feedback and instructions‚ so he’s focused‚” said his attorney‚ Daniel Witz.

On Tuesday‚ Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlope heard gruesome details from Mark Thompson‚ a colleague and friend of Rohde‚ who tried for 40 minutes to resuscitate Susan in a hotel bathroom at Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch‚ with Rohde sitting next to him pleading‚ “Mark‚ help me”.

Rohde is accused of staging Susan’s suicide after murdering her in July 2016. Some of the details recalled by the Thompson had him gulping‚ and Witz said it was for this reason that he did does not want his daughters — two of whom are at high school and one at university — to attend the High Court trial.

“Pictures [of their mother] are going to be shown‚ and as you saw from the first witness on Tuesday there are descriptions of the day [of her death])‚” said Witz.

“They are just giving as much support as they can to their father. He just wants to start the trial‚ finish it‚ and then worry about picking up the pieces afterwards.”

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