The Western Cape High Court has once again denied convicted killer Jason Rohde, rejecting his bid for leave to appeal a dismissal of his request to be granted bail.
Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe on Thursday refused to grant Rohde bail so he could look after his business interests, pending an appeal of his conviction for murder in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
On Friday, Rohde’s bid for leave to appeal Salie-Hlophe’s decision on this latest bail application was also dismissed.
Rohde’s lawyer, instructing attorney Tony Mostert, says they will now head to the SCA again, this time to appeal the bail judgment on an urgent basis.
Salie-Hlophe said she was not convinced that a different court would come to a different conclusion and that she had taken both old and new facts in the matter into account.
“I see no prospects of success. Pending the [first] appeal to the SCA, the leave to appeal [the bail decision] is dismissed,” she said.
‘Release would be a mockery of justice’
Rohde had argued that he needed to be released 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.
Salie-Hlophe was not persuaded that the facts before her were sufficiently compelling to justify his release, News24 reported on Thursday.
If anything, the interests of justice required that he continue serving his effective 20-year sentence for killing his wife Susan in 2016, she said.
“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 said.
She said the judiciary had to avoid creating the impression that the lives of women were less worthy of protection.
“…this court is of the view that releasing Mr Rohde on bail for the reasons advanced would offend the rule of law and would make a mockery of the criminal justice system,” she said.
Salie-Hlophe found Rohde guilty in November last year of the murder of his wife Susan – and of and staging her suicide – at the Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch three years ago.