About an hour west of Johannesburg, deep below the ground, is a cave that has yet to reveal the secrets of its limits to the carefully chosen group of explorers and scientists who have descended into its endless darkness. On Sunday, 10 May, in a world exclusive, the Carte Blanche cameras descend into it.
West of Johannesburg a farmer wakes in the early hours of the morning in the 1990s to a tremendous thundering. He emerges in the breaking daylight to see one of his staff members running toward him shouting; “There is a sinkhole in the mealie field.” Measuring about 18m across and 50m deep, about as deep as a 12-storey office block is high, this sinkhole later gives way even further as the earth opens up once more a few years later. The rock formations hint at an impact on the earth of massive proportions capable of tearing rocks in two as though they were paper. Could a cataclysmic meteor strike have created this massive cave?
Carte Blanche gains an exclusive preview of this super cave – on condition that the location is kept a secret to prevent unauthorised access to the cave and its dangerous terrain. John Webb takes an intrepid crew into the dark bowels of this little known scar in the earth and explores unchartered depths and astonishing geological formations so astounding that he is left saying “This is by far the most extraordinary thing I have ever done in my life. Extraordinary and absolutely terrifying. No wonder they call it Armageddon.”
In commenting on this world exclusive story, Carte Blanche executive producer George Mazarakis adds: “These are the very first humans to have ever entered this cave, an unknown spot which the planet has kept hidden for two billion years. The Carte Blanche team, led by veteran producer Diana Lucas, felt privileged as do we all, to be allowed to enter this extraordinary space and bring a truly awesome and remarkable natural phenomenon to our audiences.”
This week’s edition of M-Net’s multiple award-winning actuality show also includes first-hand accounts from South African relief workers and doctors bringing aid to earthquake-torn Nepal as well as inserts on the world’s first insulin implant and the country’s call for justice for Jayde Panayiotou, the young teacher from Port Elizabeth who was brutally murdered.
This episode of Carte Blanche airs on Sunday, 10 May at 19:00 on M-Net, channel 101 on DStv.