Ian Ollis

MP, Democratic Alliance

The day Ian Ollis was sworn in as one of the newest members of Parliament, his mother gave him some advice. "Make sure you don't get thrown out in the first week,� she said. Her snide suggestion wasn't unwarranted. Back in February of 2000, just before turning in his master's thesis on the Bible's view of homosexuality, the then-ordained minister was tossed out of the Baptist Church; it had no interest in having an openly gay man among them. But the DA didn't seem to mind his sexual orientation. In 2005, they approached Ollis, who was running his own real estate agency and doing of skills training, to run for office because of his experience in front of big crowds. Ollis took on Joburg's Ward 90 (which includes Hyde Park, Dunkeld and Rosebank) representing one of the country's wealthiest areas right up until his time in Parliament began in May. It's a place that, six months ago, Ollis wasn't so sure he'd be. Last year he lost the DA leadership of Gauteng by four votes to Victor Penning. But he quickly bounced back. After Deloitte was brought in by the party to conduct evaluations of its top politicos, Ollis scored at the top of the class. All the earnest experience of talking to people paid off in mock interviews and various presentations and the party decided to take him to Parliament, where he is the new deputy spokesperson on labour. But don't expect Ollis to deliver like every other politician. "I don't shut up and I don't tow the line,� he says. "I say what I believe.� Let's just hope that's not what gets him tossed out this time. � Tanya Pampalone

Lunch spot: Doppio Zero, Rosebank, Johannesburg