NEWS

Cheer Family To Be Paid $800K For Property

“Somehow the lease of the land had been transferred to someone else. There were no notices or advertisements telling us that this was going to happen. I myself was ready to buy this land off the family.” Mr Cheer said the process that had happened was not in accordance with the law. He urged authorities to look into other land transfers.
30 Aug 2020 11:35
Cheer Family To Be Paid $800K For Property
The building where Samabula Cake shop use to be. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Michael Cheer, 70, may not have been able to get back the place where he and his seven other siblings were born, but a recent High Court decision has brought some satisfaction to him.

The High Court in Suva ordered that the Director of Lands, the Attorney General and Registrar of Titles pay the Cheer family $800,000 as damages for deprivation of property.

Mr Cheer’s grandfather bought the land and built their home in the early 1900s. After his death, his uncle and then his father became executor and trustees of the family estate. And eventually, it was Mr Cheer.

Mr Cheer was born in the house and so were his siblings. For those who know the area, where the Samabula Cake Shop building was at Waimanu Road.

It was after Independence that most of Mr Cheer’s family left for overseas. He was left to live in the family estate.

In 1987, Mr Cheer started the Samabula Cake Shop and his business was doing well.

“It was in 2012, when other family members wanted to sell the place but I did not agree because I myself wanted to buy the place,” Mr Cheer said.

“Then in 2016 I got a shock when I was given a notice by the Ministry of Lands to vacate the place where I was born.

“Somehow the lease of the land had been transferred to someone else. There were no notices or advertisements telling us that this was going to happen. I myself was ready to buy this land off the family.”

Mr Cheer said the process that had happened was not in accordance with the law. He urged authorities to look into other land transfers.

“I had money to go to Court, what about people who may have lost their land? How do such transfers happen without following the rule of the law, no advertisements or notices,” he said.

When the family land was taken in an abrupt manner, most family members had put the blame on Mr Cheer. Some even stopped talking to him, but the phones are now ringing.

Mr Cheer said he may not have been able to get the land back, he is happy that the wrong done to him and his family was recognised by the High Court.

Mr Cheer still operates the Samabula Cake Shop. It is now situated right next to Nasilivata House.

The $800,000 when paid out would go to the family and shared in accordance to the entitlements of family members.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedbackshalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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