Brown's PA asked to resign because allegations could hurt ministry's legitimacy

The minister says her decision to ask Davids to resign is not an expression of guilt on the part of her PA saying it is important that her department is beyond reproach.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Picture: Gaye Davis/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she asked her personal assistant (PA) to resign because continuous allegations against the woman could compromise the legitimacy of her office.

Kim Davids has in the past week been implicated in the Guptaleaks saga with the leaked emails reportedly linking her to the Guptas.

They also suggest she may have helped people sympathetic to the controversial family get appointed to crucial positions.

The minister's romantic partner and her director-general have also been implicated in the leaks, as reported by the amaBhungane and Scorpio investigative journalism units.

Brown says she asked Davids to respond to allegations made against her and although she was satisfied, Brown felt that she couldn't compromise the integrity of her office.

The minister says her decision to ask Davids to resign is not an expression of guilt on the part of her PA, saying it is important that her department is beyond reproach.

The Guptaleaks emails appear to shore up claims that Davids travelled to Dubai at the expense of the family and that she was instrumental in making key decisions and appointments in favour of the Guptas.

Meanwhile, the mails also show that Brown's Director General Richard Seleke's CV was emailed to the president's son, Duduzane Zuma, in 2015 for the Public Enterprises position, apparently at the request of the Guptas.

The ministry has responded to that issue by saying that Brown supports the Hawks investigations into corruption.

MINISTRY REFUSES TO ANSWER

The Public Enterprises Ministry has refused to answer further questions about Minister Lynne's Brown's decision to ask her personal assistant to resign following the latest Gupta leaks reports that suggest Davids has links to the Gupta family.

The latest Guptaleaks report has revealed that Brown's former PA Davids is the daughter of a close associate of the Public Enterprises Minister.

Davids, who has been working with Brown for the past seven years, doesn't appear to have a tertiary qualification despite that being listed as a requirement to head up the ministry's Communications Department.

She also appears to have exercised significant sway over the minister.

The leaked emails show that in December 2015 Davids flew to Dubai and her bill of R32,000 for the trip was forwarded to Tony Gupta to approve payment.

But Davids has denied what she calls the unfounded allegations, saying she paid her own costs.