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Susan Rohde had Botox to ‘make her pretty’

Jason Rohde and wife Susan, who was found with an electric cord around her neck. Image: FACEBOOK
Jason Rohde and wife Susan, who was found with an electric cord around her neck. Image: FACEBOOK

In her final visit to her GP before she was found dead in her hotel room in Stellenbosch‚ Susan Rohde had Botox and asked Dr Lize-Marie Steenkamp to “make her pretty”.

Susan's husband Jason Rohde is on trial in the Cape Town High Court for her 2016 murder. Her body was found in the bathroom of their hotel suite. He claims she committed suicide‚ while the state claims she was strangled and her suicide was staged.

On Wednesday the court heard how Steenkamp had also prescribed drugs for Susan for insomnia and anxiety‚ shortly before her death. These drugs‚ it emerged in court‚ have a “known association for an increased risk in suicide”.

Steenkamp said she gave Susan Stilnox MR and Urbanol‚ which both contain benzodiazepines and are not intended for people who suffer from depression‚ because she needed something to help her sleep and to help with her “daytime anxiety”.

“My assessment was that she was not a severely depressed patient who was suicidal. Only an anxious girl dealing with life stresses and who was seeing a psychologist.” said Steenkamp‚ who was being cross examined by Rohde’s defence advocate‚ Graham van der Spuy.

“She was generally very healthy‚ exercised and didn’t smoke. She was always very poised and well presented when I saw her.”

Steenkamp started seeing Susan in February 2014 to administer Botox in her face.

Van der Spuy believed that Steenkamp did not do enough to establish Susan’s psychological condition before giving her the drugs which were also potentially habit forming‚ and did not substantially warn her of its dangers.

“There is a time when a medical practitioner has a duty to elicit information before prescribing drugs‚” he said.

“There is no record of any follow-up instructions in your clinical record or of dosage instructions or an informed form of consent to warn of the dangers."

Susan’s medical procedural history was also laid before the court including the In Vitro Fertilization she received‚ caesarean sections for both deliveries of her three children and surgery for a lump in her breast.

Susan was seeing at least three different healthcare professionals at the time of her death including a psychologist and a marriage counsellor‚ where she hoped to repair her marriage with Rohde who had been having an affair with real estate agent Jolene Alterskye.

The case is remanded to Monday when state pathologist Coetzee Kahn will return to the stand to complete his testimony after previously falling ill.

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