Ex-husband sentenced for killing KwaZulu-Natal gospel singer, Delana Rawlins

Pietermaritzburg gospel singer Delana Cader Rawlins, who was gunned down by her estranged husband. Picture: Facebook

Pietermaritzburg gospel singer Delana Cader Rawlins, who was gunned down by her estranged husband. Picture: Facebook

Published Mar 25, 2024


Ian Rawlins has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after he was found guilty of killing his ex-wife, Pietermaritzburg gospel singer, Delana Carmen Rawlins. The Pietermaritzburg High Court has further ruled that Rawlins is unfit to possess a firearm.

In May last year, Rawlins and Delana attended a party and got into an argument.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the couple had gotten divorced in April.

"In court, Rawlins said they had gone shopping the day before and bought her an outfit for the party. He said that although they had gotten divorced a month prior, they were discussing reconciliation and a possible resumption of their previous relationship," said NPA spokesperson, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

Rawlins said on the day of the shooting, he overheard men saying Delana was in a relationship with another man and this angered him. He confronted her and they argued, loudly, and were asked to leave.

Delana left in another vehicle, followed by Rawlins.

The NPA said when the cars stopped, Rawlins walked over to the car Delana was in and they started arguing again.

"He demanded that she return the clothes he had bought her. Since she was wearing these clothes, he pulled on her top and pants. He said that he walked away and then realised that Delana had his house keys. So, he went back to the other car," Ramkisson-Kara said.

When Delana refused to give him the keys, he drew his firearm and threatened her.

"However, he pushed the firearm through the car window and discharged it, continuously firing shots until the firearm was no longer capable of discharging any shots. He says that he does not recall how many shots were fired, but he does not dispute that at least 12 shots were fired at Delana," said the NPA.

After the shooting, Rawlins got into his car and drove to the dump in the Pietermaritzburg area, contacted his attorney and handed himself over to police.

According to his plea, Rawlins said the murder was not premeditated and that it happened in the 'heat of the moment', as he was unable to control his temper.

He told the court that his marriage to Delana was tumultuous and they fought often, resulting in Delana obtaining a protection order against him.

He said he regretted his actions.

"In aggravation of the sentence, advocate Deelan Naidoo handed in Victim Impact Statements compiled by Delana's daughter and mother and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer, Imbali Komane.

"In her statement, Delana's mother said that Rawlins' actions had affected their family as well as the community at large. She said that she cannot sleep and constantly lives in fear. One of Delana's three daughters said she feels bad when her friends talk about their mothers. She said that Rawlins had always abused their mother and they had witnessed this often," Ramkisson-Kara said.

The NPA welcomed the court’s ruling.