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Rohde ‘tried to end affair’ a month before wife’s murder

Susan Rohde sent her friend Jolene Alterskye a Whatsapp message an hour after she had died.
Susan Rohde sent her friend Jolene Alterskye a Whatsapp message an hour after she had died.

Insights into the life of Susan Rohde started to emerge in the Cape Town High Court on Tuesday‚ when her psychologist took the stand.

Susan’s widower‚ multimillionaire Jason Rohde‚ is on trial for her July 2016 murder. His alleged motive is the affair he was having with Cape Town estate agent Jolene Alterskye.

Hours before Susan's body was found‚ Rohde wrote to Alterskye: "All I can think of is you. I want to scream with frustration. I don't want anything more.''

On Tuesday‚ psychologist Jane Newcombe told the court that she had been treating Susan in therapy in 2016. Newcombe testified that Rohde became irritated with his wife when she found out that he was having an affair.

During therapy sessions in June 2016‚ Susan told Newcombe that Rohde had sent a message to Jolene Alterskye to end their extramarital affair‚ which he claimed started in June 2015. In the message‚ Rohde allegedly told Alterskye that he "loved his wife and wanted to work on his marriage".

Reading from her handwritten notes made at the time of the sessions‚ Newcombe quoted Susan as saying: "He has become quite aggressive about the way he wanted our relationship to go forward."

She probed whether this aggressiveness meant physical abuse. Susan denied it emphatically‚ saying that they had vicious verbal fights‚ and that Rohde became very irritated with her "harping on" about his affair.

Susan also told Newcombe that when she was 35 years old‚ she thought her father was having an affair with a woman named Josephine. Susan then added: "My husband's was Jolene‚" and drew many parallels between her father’s alleged infidelity and that of her husband.

Newcombe's testimony continues.

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