Convicted wife killer Jason Rohde’s bid to appeal his conviction for murder was dismissed by the Western High Court on Tuesday. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency.
Cape Town - Convicted wife killer Jason Rohde’s bid to appeal his conviction for murder was dismissed by the Western High Court on Tuesday.

He will now petition the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Rohde was convicted on November 8 last year for the murder of his wife Susan Rohde. He was found guilty of strangling her and then staging the murder as a suicidal hanging.

Susan was found with an electric cord wrapped around her neck, hanging from a hook behind the bathroom door of the room the couple shared at the Spier Wine Estate hotel in Stellenbosch on July 24, 2016.

Following the conviction, Rohde was sentenced to an effective 20 years imprisonment; 18 years for the murder and five years for obstructing the ends of justice. Three of the years in the second count would run concurrently with the murder sentence.

On Tuesday, Rohde’s counsel Graham van der Spuy in his address to the court relied heavily on “errors” made by the State’s pathology experts Dr Akmal Khan and his supervisor Dr Deidre Abrahams.

Van der Spuy submitted the accused had made out a “good case” that he had reasonable prospects of success on appeal and as such the appeal should be granted. He said Khan “messed up a disastrous piece of evidence” culminating in his conceding he had incorrectly calculated the time of death interval.

He said Khan made five to six errors in gathering factors to determine time of death and failed to measure room temperature. Abrahams failed to remember whether she was present throughout the autopsy.

Van der Spuy said following that, Khan “vanished” for more than three weeks and returned with a sick certificate with no diagnosis.

Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk said the evidence should be seen in context. “There is no reasonable chance of succeeding.”

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe dismissed the application for leave to appeal.

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Cape Argus