Western Cape High Court is on Wednesday expected to hand down the sentence for businessman Jason Rohde who murdered his wife Susan.
Rohde was found guilty of killing his wife on November 8, 2018 at the Spier hotel in July 2016. He was also found of obstructing the ends of justice after it was found that he staged Susan’s suicide.
In her judgment, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe said Rohde “staged her death as a play” and got in various “actors” and “extras” to tell lie that she had committed suicide.
During closing arguments last week, the State asked the court to impose more than the prescribed minimum of 15 years in jail for the murder, saying he betrayed his wife’s trust and killed her in a violent and cold-blooded manner.
Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk proposed that the court impose a sentence of between 18 and 20 years for the murder.
The State argued that the only sentencing factors in Rohde’s favour were that he had no previous convictions and would not commit a similar crime again.
However, the State did not believe Rohde was a good candidate for rehabilitation because he planned to appeal. Salie-Hlophe disagreed with the prosecutor on this point.
Defence lawyer Graham van der Spuy said his client, who remains in custody maintained his innocence.
“I can only describe this as a moment of weakness or madness in which he simply snapped,” he said, calling it a crime of passion.