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Psychiatrist to testify in Jason Rohde trial

The former property mogul claims his wife, Susan, committed suicide at the Spier Wine estate in July 2016 after an argument over his affair with a co-worker.

FILE: Jason Rohde demonstrating to the court how a hair iron cord was placed around his wife, Susan. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The defence is expected to call a psychiatrist to testify in the Jason Rohde trial on Monday.

The former property mogul claims that his wife, Susan, committed suicide at the Spier Wine Estate in July 2016 after an argument over his affair with a co-worker.

The State, however, rejects his version of events, arguing that he killed her before tampering with the crime scene.

Both the State and defence are relying heavily on forensic evidence in the murder trial against Rohde.

Rohde claims that he found his wife of 23 years crouched down with a hair iron cord placed tightly around her neck, suspended from a hook at the back of a bathroom door.

But this account differs from what a handyman, sent to unlock the bathroom door in the couple's hotel suite, has told the court.

Desmond Daniels says that the deceased was found lying naked on the floor with the cord placed loosely around her neck.

A State post-mortem indicates that the deceased died as a result of manual strangulation and smothering.

Pathologist Reggie Perumal, who performed a second autopsy at Rhode's request, has challenged those findings.

His evidence indicates that the deceased's injuries were consistent with strangulation marks from a hair iron cord.
Perumal has also testified that he found no evidence of smothering.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)