Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the daily battle for survival in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility.

What’s happening in Season 5?

As Season 5 picks up, Masebata’s cult is no longer in power. Arch-rivals Mazet (Dawn Thandeka King in a SAFTA-winning role) and Tyson (Lorcia Cooper in a SAFTA-winning role) are running the prison yard together, for now. Governor Deborah Banda (Pamela Nomvete in a SAFTA-nominated role) is under pressure from the Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. And Monde (Zola Nombona in a SAFTA-nominated role) is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae).


The big news

Sophie Lichaba, aka Sophie Ndaba, plays Palesa, the head nurse at Kgotsong Asylum, a key location this season, where Monde’s sister, Katlego (Natasha Thahane), has been transferred.

Sophie joins one of the most impressive casts on South African television, which also includes SAFTA winners Nomsa Buthelezi and Linda Sebezo as fan favourites Slenda and Maki, and the multi-award-winning Patricia Boyer as Sue.

Where and when to watch

Lockdown S5 premieres first on Showmax. Fans of the hit prison drama can also binge-watch Lockdown from the beginning on Showmax.

For convenience, all DStv customers can add Showmax to their monthly subscriptions. Showmax is free for DStv Premium customers. DStv Compact and DStv Compact Plus customers can also add Showmax to their DStv subscriptions at a discounted price of R49 per month.

Meet the women of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility

Governor Deborah Banda

Prison Governor Deborah Banda is just as corrupt and dangerous as the inmates she rules over. Deborah has a horrifically dark secret: she is a paedophile who yearns for boy children. We can’t wait to see if she gets what she deserves this season.

Ethiopian-born Pamela Nomvete has an acting career that spans 30 years. In 2005, Pamela received the Best Actress award at the Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival for her role in the film A Zulu Love Letter.

She’s also received praise for playing the evil governor: in 2019, she was nominated for a SAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama Series for Lockdown.


The crime: Murder and armed robbery.
The time: 15 years.

Coined as the school-yard bully in prison, Tyson has made life a living hell for some inmates, especially the new ones, whom she refers to as fresh meat.

MaZet is her long-term nemesis, and, like oil and water, the two don’t mix. It seems like they’re always close to killing each other.

Tyson’s hardcore attitude stems from a life of hardship. She lost her younger brother to an illness and was raped in prison by a male prisoner during their shared cleaning duties.

The traumatic incident fuelled Tyson’s fire, and she was out for blood and revenge. She not only killed her rapist but also murdered the rapist’s child when she was out on parole – a horrific scene that had the whole of Mzansi shocked at her taking an innocent life.

Actress Lorcia Cooper-Khumalo plays the role of Tyson in the story. In April 2019 Lorcia won the Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama category for her role in Lockdown at the Golden Horn Awards.


The crime: Murdering her uncle.
The time: 9 years.

MaZet is a strong and passionate woman who is highly respected by her fellow inmates. MaZet does not pose a threat to anyone and she is fair and respectful, but if backed up against the wall, she will retaliate.

From the outside, she comes across as a hardcore inmate, but deep inside, she has a gentle heart and has a soft spot for the vulnerable.

MaZet understands prison life and strategically calculates every decision she makes. She knows the rules and tends to play fair, but sometimes playing fair in prison can get you killed – so at times MaZet has to play dirty to survive.

MaZet is portrayed by award-winning actress Dawn Thandeka King, who won the Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role in a TV drama for Lockdown in 2019.


The crime: Murdering her rapist.
The time: 9 years.

Slenda is close to MaZet, and although she’s a bit crazy, she makes for a loyal friend.

She has an imaginary baby that she carries with her at all times. Slenda may seem harmless but don’t be fooled – she is quite unpredictable.

Nomsa Buthelezi plays the role of Slenda. When she’s not roughing it in prison, she glams it up to be one of the most popular presenters of Mzansi Magic’s Our Perfect Wedding. At the 2019 SAFTAs Nomsa walked away with a Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Comedy for Abo Mzala 3.


The crime: Murder and fraud.
The time: 25 years.

Maki is an outrageous person who is passionate about exacting revenge on her enemies. Although she doesn’t get along with most of the inmates, she knows how to play the prison game very well.

Maki not only makes alliances with her fellow inmates but with the security guards as well to ensure that she gets what she wants.

Actress Linda Sebezo portrays the character of Maki. During her long career, she has won numerous awards, including three consecutive SAFTAs. She’s a well-known face from shows such as Gauteng Maboneng, Generations and Rhythm City.


The crime: Possession of drugs.
The time: 5 years.

The irony of Monde’s situation is that she does not belong in prison. She was framed by her boyfriend, who planted drugs in her bag on the way to the airport. Totally unsuspecting, Monde walked into the airport – and the rest is history.

Life is nothing but hell for Monde, who has tried to escape numerous times. She’s still determined to prove her innocence – and she’s managing to keep herself alive, for now.

Actress Zola Nombona portrays Monde in Lockdown. The actress boasts several award nominations, including a SAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role in a TV Drama for Lockdown in 2019.


The crime: Drugs and prostitution.
The time: 6 years.

Just like Monde, Vicky has had a hard time at Thabazimbi Correctional Facility. Her face is half-burned because of a violent altercation with another inmate.

Actress Lauren Jenae plays the role of Vicky. She has also appeared on shows such as Isibaya and Rhythm City.


The crime: Murder.
The time: 15 years.

Patricia Boyer is a versatile and experienced actress with over 20 years of experience. She has worked both locally and abroad throughout her career, but this is her most notable TV role to date.

Apart from Lockdown, Patricia has also appeared on several other local drama series such as Sokhulu and Partners, The Lab, Home Affairs, Intersexions and Jacob’s Cross.

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