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#NoToXenophobia: Thousands to attend KZN peace march

Up to 10,000 people are expected to march through Durban's city streets in solidarity with foreign nationals.

Johannesburg residents have travelled through the night to take part in a peace march against xenophobia in KwaZulu-Natal on 16 April 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

DURBAN - A so-called peace bus is due to arrive in KwaZulu-Natal for a march against xenophobia within the next few hours with Johannesburg citizens who have travelled through the night to show solidarity with foreigners under attack.

The trip has been facilitated by activist Shaka Sisulu and Khaya Dlanga who've called on people from across the country to take part in today's march.

It will be led by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and religious leaders.

Thousands of people are expected to come.

At least five people have died and scores of others have been left without their possessions when their businesses were torched.

WATCH: Xenophobic violence rocks Durban CBD

Sisulu says it's meant to show the world that all South Africans condemn what's been happening in the province.

"I do think it's critically important that South Africans get mobilised and get active. That we get out of our seats that we do more than just talk. I think we need to be part of showing the world that this is not the story of South Africa, that South Africans are not violent and killing other Africans."

Up to 10,000 people are expected to march through the city streets in solidarity with foreign nationals that have been under attack in the province for the past two weeks.

Overnight, police maintained a heavy presence in the city and there have been no reports of violence.

PREPARATION

Officials are preparing for today's march as workers put the final touches to the stage at Curries Fountain Sports Development Centre.

Some people can be seen arriving as the city prepares for one of its biggest ever marches.

Officials say the march will be non-partisan and have called on people from the province to join hands and to fight the prevailing anti- foreigner sentiment.

Marchers have been told that no political party t-shirts will be allowed and police have been instructed to confiscate any dangerous weapons.

PASSOP

At the same time, People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (Passop), says finger-pointing should be avoided when dealing with the recent outbreak of xenophobic attacks.

The organisation says it believes the violence won't spread to the Western Cape at least for now.

The deadly unrest has gripped parts of KwaZulu-Natal in recent days with tense scenes also unfurling in Johannesburg and Pretoria yesterday.

Passop's Braam Hanekom said, "On this issue I think it's the time to come together not the time to fight. We have a crisis in front of us, we don't want to escalate it and we don't want to finger point or use it for cheap political brownie points but we need to come together as a society and unite against the issue."

President Jacob Zuma will try to ease xenophobic tensions by addressing the National Assembly this afternoon.

In a pre-recorded message broadcast on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio and TV yesterday, he called for an end to the killing and condemned the attacks.

WATCH: Jacob Zuma tries to ease tensions

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