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Rohde trial to continue with forensic pathologist in the dock

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Forensic pathologist Dr Reggie Perumal is expected to return to the dock for his cross examination in the murder trial of Jason Rohde in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Rohde stands accused of murdering his wife, Susan, who was found dead in a hotel room in July 2016. Rohde was arrested at his home in Bryanston, Johannesburg shortly after.

Last week, Perumal testified that Susan’s injuries were consistent with ligature strangulation, or in other words hanging. Rohde maintained that his wife committed suicide.

Read: Jason Rohde: ‘If it wasn’t for my disgusting behaviour, Susan would still be alive today’

He told the court that he couldn’t categorically state that it was suicide by hanging.

Perumal was described as a “hired gun” by Paarl chief state pathologist Dr Deidre Abrahams during the trial.

Rohde himself endured a tough time in the dock last week during his testimony and cross-examination.

The State put it to murder accused Rohde that he had smothered his wife Susan in an attempt to get her to “shut up” and then staged her suicide.

Read more: Jason Rohde murdered his wife to shut her up, prosecutor charges

News24 reported last week that on the final day of Rohde’s cross-examination in the High Court on Tuesday, State advocate Louis van Niekerk grilled him about an argument he had with his wife the night before her death, regarding his infidelity.

“Based on the facts, you didn’t go to sleep that night. You continued arguing and the only way to shut her up was by smothering her with a cushion,” Van Niekerk said.

“When you realised that she was lifeless, you staged her suicide.”

Rohde stuck to his story and responded: “With all my faults, I am not a killer.”

Rohde previously testified that the argument arose after Susan caught him with mistress Jolene Alterskye in her hotel room at Spier wine estate, Stellenbosch in July 2016.

The accused and his wife then argued all the way back to their hotel room before Rohde ended the argument by going to bed.

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