Unless you’ve been living under several rocks or hiding away in Dubai because you’re heavily implicated, you would have been following the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture in some capacity. Whether it’s quickly skipping past it while you flick through channels or watching every minute of it unfold live.
And there have certainly been many minutes to watch over the roughly 430 days since the commission began in January 2018. And to think it was meant to be completed in 180 days initially.
After many extensions, the commission is reaching its conclusion. The first of three reports were published last night, 4 January 2022 and in this report, the Commission has laid out its findings with regards to SAA and its associated companies.
We have yet to finish the 850-page first volume but what did catch our eye were the amounts of data that the report mentions.
The Zondo Commission made the forests cry
The numbers were so staggering that we wanted to try and put it into perspective because while most people will be familiar with a gigabyte, a petabyte is a different story.
Page 10 of the foreword written by Acting Chief Justice and chairperson of the Commission, Raymond Zondo, details that during the time of the Commission more than 300 witnesses provided evidence. Those witnesses implicated approximately 1,438 people and entities.
All those people had a lot to say. 75,099 pages of transcribed oral evidence make up the official record of the public hearings. That’s 151 reams of paper or 31 boxes. That’s just what the witnesses had to say. In total, 8,655,530 pages were used for documentary evidence. That’s 3,463 boxes of paper. Maybe someone should have explained to the Commission how Google Docs works.
Giga, Tera, Peta
Then there’s the digital data. According to the report, the Commission has amassed about one petabyte of data evidence. That’s close to 1,000 terabytes or one million gigabytes.
To put that into perspective, if you had the same amount of space in movies – and we’re talking decent quality here, none of those 720p cam recordings – you would have around 250,000 high-quality 1080p movies. Put another way, it’s the same amount of space as 2,083 copies of the entire Blu-ray boxset of The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition films. It would take you over 87 non-stop days to watch it all.
Better get started while we wait and see if any of this report amounts to anything.