Leon transitioned to Lechane in 1992 with surgery with Dr Michel Seghers in Belgium, where she worked as a waitress before returning to South Africa in 1995.
In KwaZulu-Natal she used the name Princess Charné. With her husband, Prince François, she promised the director general of the provincial government that her nonexistent African Business Development Consortium would invest R800m in a resort near Port Durnford. She claimed to be descended from a Dutch prince and a Sotho princess, and appeared before the province’s constitutional committee to get her lineage recognized.
She and her husband ran up debts of R120,000 from their lifestyle and as part of registering a purported African Television Network, which cost R13,000.
In 1998, at the expense of a local businessman, they went to Limpopo where they attempted to get Rain Queen Mokope Modjadji to validate their lineage. She refused and the media paid attention and exposed both of them, and outed the princess as transsexual. They quickly disappeared.
In 2004, Bezuidenhout reappeared, again in South Africa, claiming to be an Albanian princess raised in South Africa. She was arrested after convincing investors to loan R100,000 against inflated returns after she regained her Albanian title.
- “Lechane Bezuidenhout”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lechane_Bezuidenhout.
- Greg Ardé. “Once upon a R100,000 fraud charge”. The Mercury. June 11, 2004. www.themercury.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=283&fArticleId=2109524.