The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) reserved judgment on Thursday after hearing an appeal by Jason Rohde of a High Court decision not to release him on bail while he waits to appeal his murder sentence and conviction.
It is not yet clear when the bail decision by Judge President Mandisa Maya and judges Christian van der Merwe and Caroline Nicholls will be made and conveyed to the parties.
Rohde had initially approached the Western Cape High Court for bail to look after his business interests, but Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe refused the application in August.
Last year, she found Rohde guilty of murdering his wife, Susan, and of staging her suicide at the Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch three years ago.
Rohde had argued he needed to be released on bail to deal with a “hostile take-over” 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 Judge Salie-Hlophe 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.”
King believed Rohde would suffer severe prejudice if he was kept in prison only to be acquitted later.
‘Savage murder of his wife’
In handing down her judgment, Judge Salie-Hlophe said, if anything, the interests of justice required he should 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.
Rohde had petitioned the SCA and secured leave to appeal, but a date has not yet been set for the hearing.