South African police have launched their own investigation, parallel to that in Israel, into the illegal loan which precipitated the plunge in support for Sharon. South African businessman Cyril Kern is alleged to have provided a $1.5 million loan to allow Sharon to repay unlawful campaign donations received during the 1999 general election. Justice Ministry spokesman Paul Setsetse said that the ministry had acceded to a request for assistance by the Israeli authorities for assistance, but would also be looking at whether the transaction may have broken South African laws.