Former struggle icon and fraudster Allan Boesak on Tuesday became the latest high-profile figure to join the newly-formed Congress of the People.

He announced his decision at the final session of Cope's three-day founding conference in Bloemfontein.

Boesak rose to prominence in the 1980s as a churchman and a leader of the anti-apartheid United Democratic Front.

He served a brief jail sentence in 2000 after being convicted of fraud and theft of over R1.5 million of donor funds.

A former head of the Geneva-based World Council of Reformed Churches, he has held senior positions in the NG Sendingkerk, and was a driving force behind its adoption of the prophetic Belhar Confession.

He resigned all posts in its successor, the Uniting Reformed Church, in October this year claiming dissatisfaction at the way the church was dealing with the issue of homosexuality.

In July this year he accused the African National Congress of entrenching racial hatred instead of preaching tolerance.

In a public address in Cape Town, he said the party had "brought back the hated system of racial categorisation", and said affirmative action had in some cases taken on new forms of racial exclusion, throwing overboard the solidarity forged through years of struggle. - Sapa