In Cape Town, Red October protesters marched from Keizersgracht to Parliament, where they released red balloons.
Red October, which is supported by musician Steve Hofmeyr, was slammed as “racist” on social media, with messages of disbelief and anger.
The #RedOctober hashtag trended on Twitter across South Africa.
By late afternoon, an online petition had been started “To all South Africans: Let’s shut down Red October!”, in an effort to have its Facebook page removed. It went nowhere.
According to the Red October website, the marches had been organised to let everyone know “that we have had enough”.
“No longer will we be silent about the oppression of the White South African Ethnic Minority! No longer will we silently endure the killing of our people on our farms and in our towns and cities,” read its petition.
Their grievances included “destruction of our infrastructure; our filthy government hospitals; our pathetic educational system; dangerous neighbourhoods; and a disintegrating road network”.
As an ethnic minority, said Red October, white people were entitled to protection of their rights as enshrined in the constitution.