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Woman’s mystery death at Spier Estate

Susan Rohde and Jason Rohde

Susan Rohde and Jason Rohde

Published Aug 7, 2016

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Cape Town - The “suicide” of the wife of a top businessman at a luxury winelands estate is being investigated as a murder.

Susan Rohde, 47, was found dead at Spier Wine Estate. She was the wife of Jason Rohde, the chief executive of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Her body was found two weeks ago, on July 24, during Sotheby’s annual conference at Spier. Her death was initially treated as a suicide, but according to reports, a post-mortem revealed she had been strangled to death by an assailant’s bare hands.

Other reports claimed her body had been found hanging from electrical cords in the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room.

Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk would only confirm a police investigation was under way and would not confirm these reports. No arrests have been made.

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Sotheby’s spokewoman Samantha Bartlett said Susan Rohde had “tragically passed away”. The circumstances surrounding her passing were under investigation, Bartlett said. “On behalf of the company, chairman Lew Geffen has expressed heartfelt condolences to Susan’s extended family.”

She said Jason Rohde was on leave. Rohde’s Facebook and Twitter accounts have been deactivated.

Senior management at Spier said that none of its employees was a suspect in Rohde’s murder.

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A manager, who did not want his name published, said: “I’m 100 percent sure nobody at Spier is a suspect. Sotheby’s hired Spier as a venue and got on with their party and everybody went to sleep. It happened early in the morning when there were no staff around.”

The hotel’s general manager, Joep Schoof, said the estate’s management was assisting the police with their investigation.

During a Weekend Argus visit to the estate various employees said they were unaware of a murder and a few said they had heard a woman had committed suicide.

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Weekend Argus

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