Businessman Jason Rohde has lost his bid to evade the prison sentence for the July 2016 murder of his estranged wife Susan with the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, upholding his conviction but reducing the prison sentence.
The SCA found that the High Court made a material factual error which resulted in the wrong effective 20-year prison sentence being imposed on Rohde.
The Appeal Court has ordered that Rohde be sentenced to an effective 15-year prison sentence on the charge of murder and three years for obstructing the course of justice.
The two sentences will run concurrently and would be deemed to have been imposed in February 2019.
The SCA found that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Susan Rohde was killed by manual strangulation and that only thereafter the ligature was applied to her neck.
The court found that Jason Rohde strangled his wife to death and attempted to stage the crime scene to represent the deceased as having committed suicide.
However, the Appeal Court poked holes in the judgment by the Western Cape High Court, saying its vivid picture constituted speculation on both content and sequence.
The SCA found that there was no evidential basis for the finding that Rohde had punched his deceased wife with his ring-bearing fist.
Businessman, property mogul Jason Rohde found guilty of murder: