The family of the late energy and energy industries minister Franklin Khan was dealt a double blow on Saturday when his aunt collapsed and died at the cemetery during his funeral.
The grief was too much for Haniffa Khan-Ramjattan, 75, who went to the Radix Cemetery in Mayaro to bid him a final farewell. Earlier that morning the service was held at the Aramalaya Presbyterian Church in Tunapuna. The funeral procession then headed to Mayaro—Khan’s childhood village—for the internment. Khan’s mother and brother are also buried at that cemetery.
Expressing condolences to the family, Mayaro MP Rushton Paray said, “We are all terribly saddened by the sudden passing of Mrs Haniffa Khan-Ramjattan at the funeral of Senator Franklin Khan. Apparently she collapsed during the committal service and she was unresponsive.”
He recalled that Khan-Ramjattan, who lived in Mafeking Village near Khan’s childhood home, was well loved in the community. “Haniffa was a very community-spirited woman who was loved by all of the Mafeking community. I know she will be missed terribly and more so, I know the loss to the family will be an irreconcilable tragedy at this time. So again, my heart goes out to the family and may Haniffa rest in peace as well.”
She was interviewed by Guardian Media at her home hours after her nephew passed away on April 17. Flipping through a family album recalling fond memories of him, she expressed shock and sadness over his passing. She said she raised Khan and he was more like her son than a nephew. Khan-Ramjattan had children but at the time of her passing she lived alone with her husband. She had said that she begged Khan to hang up his political hat. “I told him not to go back in Parliament. He say this is the last time, I will not go back after this. I say it will have no going back eh and you see what happen now? But he was a nice nephew to me, I would not lie. That was my oldest nephew.” Noting that she had triple bypass surgery and a stroke, she said, “But I good, God is good to me all the time.”