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Crimes against women, children: State secures 5 convictions in WC

Wife killer Jason Rohde was found guilty of strangling Susan Rohde at the Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch in 2016 on Thursday.

Jason Rohde appears in the Western Cape High Court on 11 November 2018. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The State has had a successful week in court with convictions against five men for murderous acts against women and children across the Western Cape.

Wife killer Jason Rohde was found guilty of strangling Susan Rohde at the Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch in 2016 on Thursday.

Rohde claimed she committed suicide, but a State post-mortem revealed she was smothered and strangled.

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe has described Susan's death as a life interrupted, cut short in her prime.

The judge says the victim struggled in silence, wanting to keep up an appearance that all was well but beneath it all, she was struggling.

Her husband Rohde testified that their marriage took strain after she learned about his affair with a co-worker.

A few months later, the mother of three accompanied her spouse to a work function at the Spier Wine Farm and this is where their fighting would escalate and ultimately result in her death.

Salie-Hlophe found that Rohde manually strangled his wife, smothered her with a pillow and exerted pressure on her chest resulting in her ribs being broken.

The court found he then dragged her to the bathroom and staged her suicide.

Earlier this week, three men were convicted of the rape and murder of Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius.

The 21-year-old woman and her friend, Cheslin Marsh, were hijacked in Stellenbosch during the early hours of the morning in May last year.

She was raped and stabbed to death after the young man was assaulted and left for dead.

Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons and Eben van Niekerk were found guilty of rape, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery on Wednesday.

A fourth accused, Nashville Julius, was convicted on charges of kidnapping and robbery.

Advocate Lenro Badenhorst has wrapped up the argument in aggravation of sentence.

Calling for harsh sentences, he says the community at large needs to be protected from the convicted killers, especially Witbooi and Parsons who called the shots during the attack.

He said Parsons, who is linked to the 28s prison gang, has several tattoos on his body that indicate what kind of person he is.

The killer's tattoos include his gang rank, a firearm, the phrase "hungry for money, thirsty for blood", another phrase "f the police" and a drawing of a naked woman with her legs spread apart and her head that of a baboon.

Badenhorst argues this shows Parsons has no respect for women and sees females as animals there for sexual pleasure.

Judge Rosheni Allie will hand down her sentence on Monday.

On the same day, prosecutors secured rape and premeditated murder convictions against Mortimer Saunders who poisoned, choked and smothered three-year-old Courtney Peters in Elsies River last year.

WATCH: Mortimer Saunders found guilty on all charges

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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