Lockdown is set in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women's Correctional Facility.
It is a story of survival behind the walls and bars of a prison ruled by the iron fisted and corrupt Governor Deborah Banda, played by Pamela Nomvete.
Three months have passed since the death of cult leader Masabata (Nthati Moshesh) and things at Thabazimbi seem to be back on an even keel.
But poke the situation with a sharpened toothbrush and the truth will bleed out, because there are unhealed wounds beneath the surface.
Prison governor Deborah Banda's (Pamela Nomvete) head is on the chopping block when the Department of Correctional Services' new commissioner, Israel Cele (Patrick Ndlovu), cracks down on the facility following the catastrophic death toll in Season 4.
Behind Israel's back though, Deborah and Deputy Commissioner Siyanda (Molefi Monaisa) are plotting to get rid of Israel – with a little help from the inmates and a mental asylum riot.
Deborah doesn't appreciate being told off like a schoolgirl or threatened in her own office, and this queen of manipulation has plenty of minds inside and outside the prison to twist to her will.
But a shock pregnancy will have her facing some tough personal decisions and place her at the mercy of her prison nemesis, inmate Maki (Linda Sebezo).
Ruthless but compassionate MaZet is a study in contradictions. She might seem like she is playing into Tyson's hands this season, but don't let the apparent vulnerability deceive you.
MaZet is always five steps ahead. She has just one blind spot though: her friendships.
MaZet's downfall this season is trusting a previously loyal ally – a person she herself has betrayed in the past. And it's a twist that will place MaZet's daughter, Nkuli (Busisiwe Mtshali), in death's shadow.
Tyson wants MaZet knocked off her perch, leaving all the power in the prison to Tyson. And to do that, she is planning to hurt MaZet through what she loves most – her family, namely her daughter.
It's a confusing relationship that will get even screwier later in the season as the two make up after a full-on murder attempt and promise to be allies again.
Tyson and MaZet will both wind up having their heads examined at Kgotsong Asylum this season.
Ex-singing star Monde (Zola Nombona) starts the season in a miserable position. Fellow inmate Vicky Viks (Lauren Jenae) is targeting her in a humiliating prank war over a series of betrayals, aside from the fact that Monde accidentally scarred up Vicky's pretty face with boiling porridge during a fight.
And Monde's envious sister, Katlego (Natasha Thahane), is headed for Kgotsong Asylum after her collision with Season 4 inmate Masabata's mystic death cult, which has left her imitating Masabata's eerie head tilt.
If she ever learns that Monde was the one who sent her to the asylum, we'll find out just how like her creepy mentor Monde can be.
At the asylum, Katlego will fall under the care of head nurse Palesa – played by series newcomer Sophie Ndaba – who is harbouring an old grudge against Deborah thanks to Deborah's affair with Palesa's abusive ex-husband, Deputy Commissioner Siyanda.
The rift between Deborah and Maki is deep and twisted. Deborah used a version of Pavlovian conditioning last season to get vicious prison assassin Maki practically eating out of her hand and barking like a dog in Deborah's secret torture cage.
Now Maki is heavily dependent on drugs and she has lost respect among the inmates that she used to terrify with a clack of her teeth.
The tables will turn this season when Maki gets Deborah in her power and new torture session begins.
Deborah might have a blackmail tape in her hands, but Maki could get the last laugh when she finds a way to make Deborah pay for the biggest crime that Maki holds against her - the loss of Maki's son.
It's an eye for an eye this season.
Season 5 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Zola Nombona ... Monde
Dawn Thandeka King ... MaZ
Lorcia Cooper ... Tyson (as Lorcia Kumalo)
Nomsa Buthelezi ... Slender (as Nomsa Buthelezi-Shezi)
Lauren Jenae ... Vicky
Patricia Boyer ... Sue
Pamela Nomvete ... Deborah Banda
Linda Sebezo ... Maki Magwaza
Sophie Ndaba ... Palesa (as Sophie Lichaba)
Molefi Monaisa ... Siya
Recurring / Guests
Natasha Thahane ... Katlego
Patrick Ndlovu ... Israel
Busi Mtshali ... Nkuli (as Busisiwe Mtshali)
Robert Mpisi ... Julius
Nthati Moshesh ... Masabata
Asia McDonald ... Levis (as Asia Mcdonald)
Adrian Naidoo ... Dr Mentjies
Irvine van der Merwe ... Marlon
Mzikayise Makroti ... Warden
Sibongile Phakathi ... Warden
Zali Nxabi ... Warden
Nhlanhla Ndlovu ... Warden (as Nhlanhla Ndhlovu)
Phindile Thango ... Inmate
Sebenzile Mngomezulu ... Inmate
Cynthia Ndhlovu ... Inmate
Mpho Mahleho ... Inmate
Violet Ndlovu ... Inmate
Momodi Mahlangu ... Inmate
Thembi Ndimande ... Inmate
Dudu Nkwanyana ... Inmate
Lehakoe Tlale ... Inmate
Leticia van Zyl ... Inmate (as Leticia Van Zyle)
Rachel Jacobs ... Inmate
Jacqueline Pretorius ... Inmate (as Jacqueline Preetorius)
Khulasande Nkwanyana ... Nkuli's Baby
Mandla N ... Driver