Author Phumlani Pikoli and son of former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Vusi Pikoli has passed away at the age of 33.

According to family spokesperson Twiggs Xiphu on Monday, Phumlani was found dead in an apartment in Johannesburg by his father, Vusi, and mother, Girlie Pikoli, on Sunday.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – OCTOBERof former prosecutor, adv Vusi Pikoli during an interview on October 27, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

His parents had travelled to Johannesburg to check on him after being unable to reach him on his phone, said Xiphu.

“The gruesome discovery of Phumlani’s lifeless body lying in bed is something that no parent needs to go through,” said Vusi Pikoli.

The cause of death is unknown and being investigated.

“Plans are to have a memorial service on Wednesday and the funeral on Friday. More details will be communicated later,” the family said in a statement.

“The family is requesting privacy while they’re going through this sad episode.”