Susan Rohde’s estate pays R2.9m to defend husband who killed her

Anderson said annual expenses for the twins and the Rohdes’ eldest daughter, Katie, were expected to amount to about R250,000 a year.

He told the court that a Liberty Life insurance policy on Susan’s life, which named Rohde as the beneficiary, was expected to pay out R2.6m. When this amount reached the estate the financial pressure it was facing would ease.

Anderson was the first prosecution witness to testify in aggravation of sentence for Rohde, who was convicted on November 8 of murdering Susan at Spier, in Stellenbosch, in July 2017.

Proceedings were delayed when power cuts hit the high court at 10am. The court sitting resumed after 12.30pm. Rohde arrived in court in handcuffs after spending the last four weeks in Pollsmoor prison.

Anderson was followed into the witness box by Dr Naeemah Abrahams of the Medical Research Council. Abrahams is a global expert on femicide, which she described as the killing of women by their intimate partners.

The Rohdes’ three daughters are expected to give evidence in mitigation of their father’s sentence.

Rohde, a former Lew Geffen/Sotheby’s International Realty CEO, was also convicted of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by staging the murder as a suicide.

Judge Salie-Hlophe found that Susan’s death was consistent with manual strangulation and asphyxiation through external airway obstruction, such as smothering with a pillow.

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