Jason Rohde was let out of the back door, evading dozens of cameras, after he was granted bail yesterday in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court.
Rohde who appeared in Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court in connection with the death of his wife Susan at Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch on July 24‚ was also ordered to secure a R1-million guarantee by September 14.
Her body was found in the couple’s hotel room at Spier wine estate near Stellenbosch.
The businessman‚ CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises‚ smiled with relief after bail was granted‚ embracing defence advocate Pete Mihalik and shaking hands with members of his investigating team.
In a private meeting between his defence team and the prosecution, it was agreed that Rohde would pay R100,000 bail. And when magistrate Greg Jacobs granted the bail, the money was ready to be paid in cash.
After the court adjourned Rohde strolled out of the back gate, waving goodbye to court police officers. He was driven away in an SUV by his team of private investigators, mostly consisting of former senior officers from specialist police units.
Rohde was told he is free to travel between his Johannesburg home and his brother-in-law’s house in the Western Cape.When he is in Cape Town‚ he is required to report to Melkbosstrand police station three times a week. In Johannesburg he has to report to Randburg police station twice daily.
Susan Rohde’s body was found in the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room with the cord of a hair-straightening iron around her neck.She had accompanied her husband of 23 years to a property convention at the estate.
Police changed the cause of death from suicide to murder following a pathology report which determined that the mechanism of death was allegedly “manual strangulation”.
Detectives arrested Rohde a month after her death at his home in Bryanston after receiving information about his assets in Australian accounts.
Rohde’s five-man legal team fired their first salvo at the state and police last week for what they said was an “unlawful” arrest.
Theunissen asked magistrate Greg Jacobs for additional time for police to collect outstanding evidence such as DNA analysis‚ data analysis from Rohde’s cellphone and laptop‚ and a blood splatter analysis.
Rohde is due back in court on September 23 when the police will have finalised the case, according to prosecutor Carien Theuni.