Johannesburg - South Africans need to know that the ANC did not always provide the only opposition to apartheid, DA leader Helen Zille said on Sunday.
"It is at times like these that I realise the extent to which we [the Democratic Alliance] have allowed our opponents to define us and impose their version of our history on South Africa’s political narrative," Zille said in her weekly newsletter.
"We must take responsibility for changing this."
This was the reason for the party's "Know Your DA" campaign, she said.
Earlier in the week, a DA pamphlet showing Nelson Mandela hugging former liberal politician Helen Suzman, with the words "We played our part in opposing apartheid", angered ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman.
He described it as a "cynical and opportunistic exercise in propaganda".
The African National Congress said neither Mandela nor Suzman were ever members of the DA.
Suzman was a member of the Progressive Party which became the Progressive Federal Party and later merged with other parties to become the DA.
Zille said the ANC wanted to "own" the history of the struggle against apartheid, so it was quick to downplay and deny the contributions made by others outside the party's fold.
"They [ANC] are still trying to divorce Suzman’s legacy from the DA, despite the fact that she co-founded our predecessor party, the Progressive Party, and was its sole representative in Parliament for 13 years, between 1961 and 1974, and later became a member of the DA," she said.
"Today, we continue to promote and defend the values Helen Suzman stood for half a century ago. These are the same ideas that underpin our non-racial democracy and its founding compact, our Constitution."