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Category: Jason Rohde

Jason Rohde Sentencing [February 18 & 20, 2019] LIVE COVERAGE

It’s been 74 days since we last saw Jason Rohde, the millionaire convicted of murdering his wife Susan. Almost three months have past since the first phase of the sentencing trial [which usually lasts half a day to a day] was heard on December 5th, 2018. It was speculated that Rohde’s eldest daughter Kathryn would testify, but ultimately she did not. His younger daughters were writing final matric exams at the time. This was brought up in December as well.
Curiously during the trial none of the daughters names were to be uttered in court. This was strictly enforced by Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe. Post conviction, it appears, that’s changed.
Loadshedding affected some of the coverage but it seems the media have dodged a bullet today, with no loadshedding scheduled after it returned with a vengeance last week.
In three months, amnesia can set in. The sentencing court may “forget” the merits of the case, and become foggy about evidence. The defense can then pull out a new canvas and sketch their client to their heart’s content. To a point.
Today they’ve elected to try to do that using three character witnesses: two friends of the convicted murderer Jason Rohde will testify, and finally his mother, Brenda, will testify on behalf of her son in mitigation of sentence.
In hindsight, just like the entire trial, it seems much ado about nothing. Because Judge Salie-Hlophe made a passing remark right at the end of the court day that she didn’t really need the heads of argument from both counsels. This makes sense. Like the Oscar Pistorius case, and Henri van Breda, this one was pretty obvious from the get go. And like the Judge in the Van Breda case, Salie-Hlophe is pretty clear on what needs to happen to Rohde. He didn’t just commit a crime, he – like Pistorius and Van Breda – went out of his way to obstruct justice.

The irony is that had Rohde been found innocent, and his wife “guilty” of committing suicide, a life insurance payment would nevertheless have kicked in. Having been found guilty, another insurance policy kicked in – from Liberty Life. Effectively then the mother’s death by her father has paid for her children’s studies.
Rohde judge leaves bench after clash with defence advocate – News24
Rohde trial judge calls defence out over courtroom tactics – News24

Jason Rohde Trial + Judgment: Live Coverage and Analysis #tcrs


First image of Jason Rohde in court…

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Image courtesy Jenna Etheridge.

The Judge seems very uncertain of the state’s arguments thus far. She’s either being thorough or she’s still vacillating.

The prosecutor Louis van Niekerk reiterates [rightly] how the mosaic of evidence lines up.

End of morning session.

The afternoon sessions starts off with a gripe. Judge Salie-Hlophe raps Van Niekerk on the knuckles for producing a thesis, rather than heads of argument. Well, I hope Van der Spuy is listening; sounds like he was hoping to generate twice as much legal diarrhea.

Van Niekerk apologizes and gets going, jumping immediately from page 100 to 135.

Is Jason Rohde also following the commentary on Twitter?

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Above image courtesy of Jenna Etheridge, who specially asked for it to be credited.

Good to see the cameraman in the afternoon session actually capturing some footage of the accused. Van Niekerk starts off with a reference to the mysterious diary. Was there or wasn’t there a diary?

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The diary seems to be part of an effort by the defense to malign the cops for misplacing or losing evidence. It could be that Rohde himself secreted the diary away, and then blamed the cops for taking it, otherwise, why else would it even come up?

Besides the diary, her handbag also mysteriously disappeared. Odd, isn’t it? Also odd is that two attorneys associated with the Rohde case have been murdered during the course of the trial: Pete Mihalik and Noorudien Hassan.

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Rohde claimed he had no idea how to open the hotel door, so he called reception to have a hotel maintenance dude open the door. If you were confronted with this, would you have no idea how to open it?

Personally I find this a less credible part of his whole case. In his own version he describes himself doing a half Ironman. In order to compete as a triathlete, you’d need a minimal level of back maintenance know-how. Allan keys and the like to adjust saddle height etc. Besides this, Rohde had worked in the past in an upholstery business. Is it really believable that he’d never picked up a screwdriver in his life?Fullscreen capture 20181106 155206


The autopsy evidence in the Rohde case have some application in the Zahau and Watts cases respectively. How can one tell, definitively, that a victim has been manually strangled to death?

True to his word, the prosecutor has galloped through his summary, and is done after less than 50 minutes. The first session was three times as long. A little underwhelming, and unfortunate that it was long and that, as a result, it was rushed. The prosecutor must be disappointed. The defense has the advantage of hindsight to develop a short, concise, compelling, competing narrative. Which will be the more convincing? We’ll know tomorrow.


The morning session kicks off in the spacious Court 1, the same court where the Van Breda case was heard in its entirety.

End of morning session.

No live coverage provided by TCRS of the afternoon session. 

Analysis pending…


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Further reading:

The #1 Reason Why Susan Rohde DIDN’T Kill Herself

Jason Rohde Trial: The #1 Hurdle for the Prosecution

Rohde Crime Scene Schematic: What else are we missing? [ANALYSIS]

Rohde Trial: The Art of Strategic Cross-Examination

Rohde Trial: Can a body bruise after it has died, even one prone to bruising?

#Rohde What did “Drama, but OK” actually mean?

Rohde Trial: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is Character Assassinating Who? [WATCH]

5 Key Difficulties for Jason Rohde’s Defence [and they’re all unexpected]

According to Brendan Miller, Susan Rohde was “calm” shortly before her death

#Rohde Trial: “Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk could not wipe the smile off his face with [today’s] ruling” [Analysis]