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State pathologist: Susan Rohde was murdered

Susan Rohde’s body was discovered at the Spier Wine Estate in July 2016 and it initially looked like a suicide but police later arrested her husband.

FILE: Jason Rhode. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The State pathologist who conducted the first post-mortem on Susan Rohde’s body has stuck to his findings, saying she was murdered.

Susan Rohde’s body was discovered at the Spier Wine Estate in July 2016.

Initially, it looked like a suicide but police later arrested her husband Jason Rohde and he was charged with murder.

Doctor Akmal Coetzee-Khan testified Susan Rohde’s death was unnatural, consistent with asphyxia, following manual strangulation and smothering.

Coetzee-Kahn faced cross-examination on Wednesday, with Rodhe’s advocate questioning his use of the word “consistent”, asking whether that word suggests there could be other possible causes of death, for instance, strangulation by hanging.

But Coetzee-Khan stood firm, saying he did consider that possibility but found it just wasn’t compatible with some of Susan Rohde’s injuries.

He bases this on several factors, including the location of the ligature imprint around her neck and injuries to her thyroid cartilage.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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