KZN man who shot his wife 12 times sentenced to 22 years in jail

Ian Rawlins, 46, appeared before magistrate Nitesh Binnesarie for the murder of popular gospel singer Delana Cader Rawlins, 46.
Ian Rawlins, 46, appeared before magistrate Nitesh Binnesarie for the murder of popular gospel singer Delana Cader Rawlins, 46.
Image: Sakhiseni NXumalo

A KwaZulu-Natal man who shot his estranged wife 12 times and threatened to kill their 4-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 22 years in prison. 

Ian Rawlins, 48, was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to the murder of his ex-wife Delana Carmen Rawlins in May in the Ashburton area, Pietermaritzburg.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Rawlins told the court he attended a party with Delana on May 13.

They had gone shopping the day before and he bought her an outfit for the party. 

Though they had divorced a month before, they were discussing reconciliation.

Rawlins said while at the party some male guests were talking about Delana being in a relationship with another man. 

“This angered him and he confronted her, causing an argument which became loud and led to them being asked to leave the party,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

“They left the party and he drove behind Delana who was driving another vehicle in front of him. They stopped their cars at some point and he walked over to the other car and he and Delana began arguing again.

“He demanded she return the clothes he bought her. As she was wearing the clothes he pulled on her top and pants. He said he walked away and then realised Delana had his house keys. So, he went back to the other car.”

Ramkisson-Kara said Delana refused to give Rawlins the keys and he “lost his temper” and drew his firearm to threaten her. 

Rawlins pushed the firearm through the car window, firing shots until the magazine was empty. 

Rawlins didn't recall how many shots were fired but didn't dispute at least 12 shots were fired at Delana. 

He left the scene and drove to the Pietermaritzburg municipal dump where he sat in his car trying to decide what to do. 

He phoned his lawyer who helped hand him over at the Alexandra police station, said Ramkisson-Kara.

In his plea, Rawlins denied his actions were premeditated but said they occurred in the heat of the moment due to his inability to control his temper. 

“He said his relationship with Delana during their marriage was tumultuous, characterised by frequent violent arguments which resulted in Delana obtaining four protection orders against him. Rawlins admitted Delana had been the subject of physical abuse caused by him. He told the court he was remorseful for his actions,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

Victim impact statements compiled by Delana's daughter and mother were handed in by advocate Deelan Naidoo.

In her statement, Delana's mother said Rawlins' actions had affected their family and the community.

She said she couldn't sleep and lives in fear.  

One of Delana's three daughters said she feels bad when her friends talk about their mothers. 

She said Rawlins had always abused their mother and they had witnessed this often.

Ramkisson-Kara said the NPA welcomed the “successful” finalisation of the case. 

“Our attitude to gender-based violence and femicide is one of zero tolerance,” she said. 



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