CAPE TOWN, November 21 – Sentencing proceedings of convicted murderer Jason Rohde was on Wednesday postponed to December 5 to allow for preparation and presentation of the defence’s case for sentence mitigation purposes.
Rohde’s two twin daughters are among witnesses set to testify at the Western Cape High Court where Rohde was earlier this month found guilty of murdering his wife Susan Rohde and staging her suicide in July 2016 at a Stellenbosch hotel.
Susan Rohde’s body was found with an electronic cord wrapped around her neck and hanging from a hook behind the bathroom door of the room she shared with her husband on July 24, 2016, at the Spier Wine Estate Hotel.
On 8 November, the court found him guilty of murdering her.
“On 8 November, the court postponed the matter for sentencing and at the time, I indicated that I felt that approximately two weeks to start of this would be sufficient time for preparation and presentation of the defence’s case, visibly the issue of sentencing,” defence advocate Graham van der Spuy told the court.
“Numerous issues have risen and problems have occurred and it has become apparent that I completely underestimated some of the problems, ” Van der Spuy said.
Van der Spuy said that on Tuesday afternoon the defence was given a copy of the report as well as various articles and annexures of an expert in the field of femicide and intimate partner homicide, Dr Deidre Abrahams and the defence needed time to study the documents.
“We had not had an opportunity to study that. We need time to study that,” he said.
He also argued for time to discuss the report as well as accompanying articles and annexures with the defence’s experts.
Abrahams is the chief pathologist in charge of the Western Cape government’s Winelands and West Coast regions who Van der Spuy had accused of being biased and unconstitutional during cross-examination in the Rohde case.
The defence also said that it needed more time to consult with Rohde’s three daughters because, among others, the younger twin daughters who were in matric were writing their final examinations.
The court granted the request for postponement.
– African News Agency (ANA)