South Africa: SCA to Hear Jason Rohde's Appeal of Bail Refusal Later This Month

14 November 2019

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has set down a date for later in November to hear Jason Rohde's appeal of a high court decision not to release him on bail while he waits to appeal his murder sentence and conviction.

In an SCA notice on Thursday morning, Rohde was notified that the bail appeal would be heard on November 28.

Rohde had initially approached the Western Cape High Court for bail so he could look after his business interests, but Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe refused the application in August.

Last year, Salie-Hlophe found Rohde guilty of the murder of his wife Susan, and of staging her suicide at the Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch three years ago.

Rohde had argued that he needed to be released on bail to deal with a "hostile takeover" of his company, as well as to help avoid a situation where funds for his daughters would run out by the end of the year.

This while he also appeals his murder sentence and conviction in the SCA.

Advocate William King SC had told Salie-Hlophe that his client was not a flight risk as he had a new option before him: "Argue the appeal, be acquitted and carry on with life."

He also believed Rohde would suffer severe prejudice if he was kept in prison only to be acquitted later.

In handing down her judgment, Salie-Hlophe said that, if anything, the interests of justice required that he continue serving his effective 20-year sentence for killing his wife in 2016.

"Releasing Mr Rohde, who was convicted of the savage murder of his wife, on the basis essentially that he had been granted leave to appeal and that his release would allow him to manage his wealth and other needs and comforts, would threaten law and order".

She also earlier turned down his application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence, saying the defence had rehashed arguments made during Rohde's trial and sentencing.

He petitioned the SCA and secured leave to appeal to that court, but a date has not yet been set for the hearing.


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