We question David Maynier, MP and DA shadow minister of finance.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?

"Guptas".

What was your first job?

I was a "professional" soccer player: members of my under-12 B team were paid R1 for a win by the coach (and we paid the coach 50c if we lost, which, given the incentive, was not too often).

How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling stress?

A combination of salt-and-vinegar chips, sauvignon blanc and binge-watching television — but intravenous Buscopan drips when things get really bad.

When and where were you happiest?

On my wedding day, in Cape Town in December 2013.

What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?

Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Politeness (the most underrated virtue: kindness).

What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

Investing in a balanced life.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

George Smiley, John le Carré’s iconic Cold War spymaster — he’s brilliant, patient, thorough and ruthless.

What is your most treasured possession?

A framed quote by the late anti-apartheid campaigner Helen Suzman, written in her own hand: "I stand for simple justice, equal opportunity and human rights. These are the indispensable elements in a democratic society — and well worth fighting for."

On what occasion do you lie?

I never lie; it’s fatal in politics. (This is actually not a lie, by the way.)

What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?

Hillary Clinton’s What Happened and Claire Bisseker’s On the Brink (I normally read two or three books simultaneously). Everyone should read Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power, which makes the point that, to accumulate power, politicians conceal their real agendas — a useful lesson in politics ahead of the ANC’s 54th national conference.

Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.

Foxy Beach, near Cape Town.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be able to write well.

What is your biggest regret?

Not studying law.

Is there such a thing as "enough money" and, if so, how much is it?

I don’t care about money or personal wealth; I care about the cause, which is saving SA.

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