The position of the current Tshatshu Chief, Mncedisi Gungubele, Aa! Jongulundi!, is debated from time to time among his people and, indeed, among the broader Thembu’s. This stems from the assertion that his great great great grand father, Bawana and later his son, Maphasa were not mere chiefs in the Hewu and Queenstown districts but had gone out there to establish a kingdom.
The truth is that as the right hand house of Dlomo, Mawose could not expect to be king of abaThembu as the undisputed senior son was Mhala. However, the right hand house had the opportunity to leave the royal house and establish themselves in virgin land,and Bawana did exactly that, he left Mgwali and trekked to the east and estabished himself as a ruler. His ruled in turbulent times and although smaller clans like amaNdungwane and amaMfene readily submitted themselves to him, he had endless battles with amaGcina who he fought on numerous occasions.
The might of amaTshatshu was ehtrenched by Bawana’s son, Maphasa, a valiant young warrior who earned respect as far east as Ngungcuka’s roual homestead. He ruled from Jamestownto the north, down to Seymour in the south and from the Klaas Smit River in the west to the Indwe River in the east. The amaGcina problem was squashed once and for all and despite Galela’s pleadings to Ngubengcuka, Maphasa remained entrenched as ruler of the west. While Rhaxoti, Gecelo, Stokhwe and others are referred to as petit chief in literature, Maphasa and Bawana have always maintained their status as rulers in the west.
The question then becomes whether Bawana and Maphasa established themselves as king in western thembuland or not. If the answer is to the affirmative, then Jongulundi should be King of amaTshatshu.