Murder accused Rohde allowed to go home

Cape Town - Murder accused Jason Rohde has been allowed to return to his home in Johannesburg.

The suspended South African head of the property group Sotheby’s International Realty appeared in the Stellenbosch District Court on Friday.

Jason Rohde's wife, Susan, was found dead in the couple's hotel room at the Spier Wine Estate. Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Rohde is charged with the murder of his wife, Susan Rohde, who died on July 24 in a hotel room at the Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch. The couple were in Stellenbosch together for a Sotheby’s International Realty conference.

Rohde has denied any involvement in her death.

He claims she committed suicide and has armed himself with the opinion of an independent pathologist who found his wife’s death was consistent with suicide.

Meanwhile, the State has gathered evidence which allegedly shows injuries were inflicted to Susan Rohde’s neck after she had been strangled and smothered to death.

Rohde lawyers said on Friday that he was not a flight risk and that Sotheby’s business in South Africa could collapse if he did not return.

He was also concerned about the wellbeing of his three daughters.

On August 30, Rohde was released on bail of R1.1 million – the R100 000 had to be paid immediately, to secure his release from police custody, and the R1 million in the form of a commercial bank guarantee, that had to be lodged with the court administration by no later than Wednesday, September 14.

One of his bail conditions was that he had to stay at an undisclosed address in Melkbosstrand, on the Cape West Coast, and report regularly at the Melkbosstrand police station.

The case was postponed on Friday to January 27, 2017.