SCA rules Jason Rohde not a flight risk despite serious crime convictions
Cape Town - Convicted wife killer Jason Rohde will spend Christmas with his three daughters after he was granted bail of R200 000, while he waits to appeal his conviction.
This comes in the wake of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling yesterday by Judge President Mandisa Maya and judges Christian van der Merwe and Caroline Nicolis, setting aside an earlier Western Cape High Court decision.
In terms of the strict bail conditions, Rohde was also required to furnish a R1million guarantee to the Registrar of the Western Cape High Court. It further stipulates that Rohde will reside at his residential address in Plettenberg Bay.
Should he need to be in Joburg or Cape Town for court proceedings or conduct business, he needs to live in Lonehill Village in Joburg or Green Point when in Cape Town.
He is not allowed to be away from Plettenberg for more than five days.
Rohde is also required to report to the Plettenberg Bay police station between 6am and 6pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and is prohibited from applying for any passport.
The SCA also found that although Rohde was convicted of serious crimes, he was not a flight risk and it determined that he has real prospects of success on appeal and his convictions.
His application stemmed from a decision by Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, who in August refused his bail application.
In an affidavit Rohde said: “The prejudice I shall suffer should I not be granted bail in this matter is immeasurable. It is in the interests of justice that I be permitted bail to afford me the opportunity to salvage my business, generate income and maintain my children financially.”
Judge Salie-Hlophe sentenced Rohde in February to an effective 20 years in prison for killing his wife Susan, and making it look like suicide at the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch in 2016.
The merits of Rohde’s appeal against his conviction are set to be adjudicated on in due course by the SCA. The court will look at the entire transcript spanning some 250 pages.
It is Rohde’s version that the revelations of his infidelity drove his wife to suicide by hanging, while the State has led medical evidence to show that the hanging occurred post-mortem.