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I saw Rohde push his wife: guard

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Spier Wine estate security guard Kwanele Mabeta saw Jason Rohde “pushing away” his wife Susan hours before she died.

But Mabeta told the Cape Town High Court that he did not call for backup as the altercation did not seem like a “fight”.

Property mogul Rohde is on trial for the murder of Susan.

Testifying for the prosecution on Tuesday, Mabeta said he was patrolling the estate in the early hours of July 24 2016 when he witnessed the Rohdes arguing.

“I knew they were arguing because whenever the lady in the white gown touched the man he would push her away,” he said.

Rohde claims his wife committed suicide, while the state has always argued that Susan’s suicide was staged.

Rohde’s lawyers have said that on the night before Susan was killed, the couple had a fight during which Rohde grabbed his wife by the neck with his right hand. He did this, say the defence team, because he was allegedly trying to get away from her.

Rohde also claimed he accidentally hit Susan with the back of his hand and his elbow. She allegedly then lost her footing and fell into the garden and onto a wall.

Earlier on Tuesday, defence advocate Graham van der Spuy completed his cross-examination of state pathologist Deidre Abrahams.

Abrahams remained calm despite facing accusations of impropriety and dishonesty relating to her evidence from the postmortem examination of Susan’s body.

Rohde claims he found his wife in their hotel bathroom at Spier, where they were attending a conference. He said a ligature mark around her neck was made by an electrical cord which she used to hang herself.

Tuesday marked the end of proceedings in the case for this year. The trial started in October and the state has only called seven witnesses from a list of about 70.

The case will continue in February.

[Source: Times Live]
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